Most of our focus, in Christ’s redeeming work, is on sin and the sacrificial ransom He paid to purchase our freedom.
But there is another bondage that must be broken. There is yet one other taskmaster that must be addressed.
Our Redeemer not only redeemed us from the bondage of sin… He also redeemed us from “the curse of the Law.”
This seems a curious phrase. We normally think of the Law as being a good thing. It is God’s thoughts on what is right and true. The apostle even confirmed: “the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.” (Romans 7:12) How did what was holy, righteous, and good… become “the curse?”
In just this way… The Law is God’s holy standard. It is everything the apostle told us it was. The problem with the Law is… US. We can’t keep it. We fail miserably to do what is holy, righteous, and good (in spite of all our earnest desire and efforts).
And when we fail (even once) we are guilty of the whole Law (James 2:10). And the Law instantly becomes our judge, jury, and executioner. Our guilt merits the full punishment that the Law requires – and the Law condemns us without mercy.
Think about the futility of trying to keep a set of rules that we are powerless to keep. Think about trying to live a perfect life without the ability to do so. And think about the fact that the perfection of the Law is the standard we must attain IF we are going to gain the attention and favor of the Lawgiver.
From God’s perspective… the Law is the standard of His holiness – it is the expression of His righteousness.
But from our perspective… the Law is what continually stands against us – it is the expression of our sinfulness.
The Law is “the curse” because we are the cursed… who can never ever keep it.
But into our dire circumstance enters our Redeemer. Jesus came to do more than redeem us from the power of sin – He also came to redeem us from the power of the Law… by fulfilling the Law’s standards for us.
Through Jesus’ perfect life, the righteous standards of the Law were perfectly kept (Rom. 8:4) – and now (through Him) we share in what He accomplished for us.
It is the wonder of the Great Exchange… Jesus became what we were so we could become what He is. We were sinners, He became sin for us – and in His death, redeemed us from the power of sin. We were cursed (because we could not keep the Law), and He became a curse for us – and in His death, redeemed us from the power of the Law.
The whole point of the Great Exchange is that through Jesus’ work… each and every one of us have “died.” We died to sin (and its power). And we died to the Law (releasing us from its binding standards to gain God’s approval). The apostle tells us straight out: “you also died to the Law through the body of Christ… now, having died to what bound us, we have been released from the Law, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7:4, 6)
We are redeemed from the power of sin and the authority of the Law, not so we can do as we please… but so we can live by the “new way” of pleasing the One Who redeemed us. Not by all our human efforts at doing righteousness – but by heeding the Voice of God’s Spirit indwelling and empowering us.
Because of what Jesus has done for us, we have been enabled to replace the impersonal unrelenting standard of the Law with the Personal indwelling Presence of our Redeemer…