April 1, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
The seventh blog about Questions Concerning The Cross is What Is Redeemed By The Cross? We often only think of redemption in terms of Jesus saving our soul. It says in Psalm 49:8: “…the redemption of their soul is costly.” Yes, God did redeem our soul to experience eternal life in heaven with Him – and it certainly was costly! It cost the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ His very life on the cross of Calvary! As it says in II Corinthians 5:21: “For He [the Father] has made Him [the Son], who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” So the cost that Jesus paid was not just His physical death, but also His spiritual death when He took upon Himself our iniquities! Spiritual death is separation from God. And the Father turned His back on the Son and poured out wrath and judgment upon Him when Jesus bore out sins on the cross. That is why the Lord cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? ” (Mark 15:34). Now, through that redemption accomplished by Christ’s sacrifice, we have this testimony in Ephesians 1:3, 6 through 8:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed
us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ…to the praise
of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, ac-
cording to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us….
Praise God He saved my soul! But that is only part of the story! And our featured scripture of Galatians 3:13 reflects this: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”)…” Paul is quoting from Deuteronomy 21:22 and 23. Here is what it says:
If a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and
you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree,
but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land
which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is
hanged is accursed of God.
The body of that one so accursed of God had to be taken down from hanging (being displayed) in a tree – centuries later interpreted to apply also to a cross – and buried out of sight the same day as that one’s death occurred.
What was “the curse of the law” which Paul of spoke in Galatians 3:13? It is that which God said in Deuteronomy 27:23 (NIV): “Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” The Jewish law given by God covered just about everything an Israelite would experience in his or her day-to-day life. And a pious Jew was directed by God to keep all 613 laws listed in the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) – 248 positive “do” commandments and 365 negative “do not” commandments!
But the laws given by God were needed because of another curse – put upon mankind and all creation thousands of years before! In Genesis 3, as a result of man being tempted by Satan and sinning, God cursed…
• …the serpent (the devil incarnated into serpent’s flesh) in verses 14 and 15 – “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
• …the woman in verse 16 – “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall reign over you.”
• …the man in verses 17 through 19 – “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
So man was spiritually lost – separated from God, as indicated when “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord…” (Genesis 3:8), where before they had perfect fellowship with their Creator. All humankind, according to Romans 5:12, has inherited that sin nature and resultant lostness! Everyone’s human spirit is naturally dead (see Ephesians 2:1) and the human soul – the life-force within – is bent towards rebellion and sin against God and needs to be redeemed!
So this is the first part of What Is Redeemed By The Cross? Jesus paid the redemption price to save our souls – to cleanse us from our sin, to give us His own righteousness, to reconcile us back to the Father, to create in us a new godly nature, and to grant us eternal life forever with Him.
The next blog will be, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story!