But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. (Deuteronomy 28:15)
If you read the rest of the chapter, you know this news is really bad. Disobeying God means famine, drought, disease, defeat in war, being scattered all over the world. In fact, it means the loss of all the promises God gives for obedience to the law.
The reason all of this is bad news is that we all fall right into this category: we’ve disobeyed the voice of God; we haven’t been careful to do all his commandments and his statutes. A cursory glance at the 10 Commandments shows this is true. In other words, we’re all under God’s curse for having disobeyed him. Very bad news.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us- for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”- so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14)
God’s curse can’t just be taken away or forgotten about, like when your mom forgets you’re supposed to be grounded– his justice is too pure for that. It has to be carried out. The good news is that this curse has been carried out– on Christ. All God’s wrath for our sin wasn’t just canceled, it was inflicted on his Son, who he loves. On the cross Jesus endured all the suffering we should have endured; he tasted death & separation from God so that we would not have to. So the curse doesn’t hang on us anymore. The same justice that demands God’s wrath be carried out on sin also means he cannot punish the same sin twice. When Christ bore his Father’s wrath, he removed it from us who believe forever.
This is very, very good news. And the better we understand the bad news, the more we’ll love the good news. May we rejoice today in our curse-bearing Savior, and in a holy God who delivers us from his own wrath by punishing his own Son in our place. Hallelujah! What a Savior!