Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Gal. 3:13)

Ben always felt the same mix of emotions—pain and gratitude—whenever he passed this place on the road. A decade earlier, when he was eight, Ben and his seventeen-year-old brother, Max, had just rounded the tree-lined bend on their bikes when they heard a car just behind them coming way too fast on the gravel. Max’s concern for Ben was almost a reflex; he stopped short on his bike yelling, “Hit the ditch!” to his little brother. Now eighteen years old, Ben rounds the same bend in the road and misses his brother, thinking every time, “He took the full force of impact, just for me.”

Jesus didn’t do a halfway job of redeeming us. He took the full force of the pain and judgment brought on by our sins. We were unable to live up to God’s standards; each day the law reminded us of how far we had fallen from His perfect plan. And our failure to follow Him with our thoughts and actions brought His displeasure and curse.

By taking our place on the cross, Jesus experienced the curse under which the entire human race falls—the curse of being separated from God because of sin. Jesus is the only person who never brought this curse upon himself; He was sinless. Rather, Jesus willingly took the curse upon himself just to set us free.

Receive the full force of God’s salvation.

Paul Zinter has served as a pastor and editor. He enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.