Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The curse and the cure..

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a treeHis body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. Deuteronomy 21:23

    In ancient Israel, those who committed serious capital offenses were hung on a tree.  God unequivocally states here in the Torah, that those hung on a tree were accursed.  It is also important to note that it was illegal to leave the body hanging overnight. One may ask the reason: "Why would God have criminals hung upon a tree?"  Well to deter crime for one, but if we look deeper it's actually a prophetic picture of what Christ would do for us. One day, Christ himself would become a curse for us, on a tree known as the cross.  He also would be removed from the cross, and taken down the very same day.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Galatians 3:13

    First, it's paramount to understand that the word "tree" is actually the Greek word xulon, which can be referred to as a beam for hanging or a cross.  In addition, it was also a Jewish reference to those who were accursed as stated in Deuteronomy 21.  To establish that the tree is, in fact, the cross we can look to Acts 10:39, where Peter in witnessing to the Gentiles states: "And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree."  This Jewish reference to Christ being hung on a tree is also mentioned in Acts 5:30: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree."  So in establishing that the tree is the cross, it's also imperative to understand that the tree is where Christ suffered for our sins and became a curse for us. Peter by the Holy Spirit writes: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."  So in comparing scripture with scripture, we find that the tree is not only the cross, but also a Jewish reference to the curse of one who is hung on the tree.  

Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. -Deuteronomy 27:26

    So why did Christ, the sinless Lamb of God become a curse for us?  Well because all are under the curse of sin.  Nobody is perfect, as Romans 3:10 and Psalm 14:3 states: "There is none righteous, no not one.." Even breaking one commandment such as lying, stealing, lusting, etc. makes you guilty of judgment as God's Word mentions: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." -James 2:10.  God's standard is perfection.  In fact, if this were not the case, Adam could still be in the garden.  Adam's first offense in disobeying God, led to a curse (Genesis 3:17), a separation from God, and death then entered the world by sin (Romans 5:12). This is why Christ had to die for us, we could never keep the whole law, in fact, our own righteousness is as filthy rags in his sight (Isaiah 54:6).  Man needed a mediator, one who could bridge the gap of death and separation, one who could fulfill the law perfectly (1st Timothy 2:5). That bridge is in the fulfillment of Christ, and the bridge is made available to all who place their trust in him (John 3:16). 

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: -Romans 5:12

    But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: -John 1:12

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. -John 6:40

    God draws all men to himself (John 12:32), and faith is his gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  Faith can only be received in humility, as God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Harden not your hearts, if you hear his voice  (Hebrews 3:15).  When faith is placed in Christ, his righteousness is eternally branded upon the individual who receives him (Romans 3:22).  By prophetically becoming a curse for us in having no sin, Christ effectively paid our debt of sin on the cross and satisfied the Father (Romans 6:23).  We are given the same righteousness that was applied to Abraham by faith (Genesis 15:6).  Man does not have to suffer under the condemnation from the curse of sin, but rather can discover freedom and eternal life in trusting in his creator (John 3:16).  Justice of sin was satisfied in God's eyes 2,000 years ago on the cross, but it's conditional.  The gift of eternal life is solely based on the condition of your trust in Him.  He stands at the door of your heart and knocks, won't you let him in?

♪ Only trust Him; Only trust Him;

Only trust Him now.

He will save you; He will save you

He will save you now. ♪


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