“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)
This text gives us in a very concise way some important truths regarding the Gospel. In our text, we are told who the Savior is, why we need a Savior (sin), and what the Savior did for us (substitution). This verse speaks of Christ, the curse, and Calvary.
Savior/Christ. “Christ has redeemed us.” Our Redeemer and Savior is clearly identified in this verse. Nowhere in the Bible are we told of other redeemers. Rather, the Bible insists that there is only one Redeemer and that is Jesus Christ. “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). If you take Christ out of the Gospel message, you have no Gospel message. You must come to Jesus Christ if you want soul salvation, for no one else can save you.
Sin/Curse. “Redeemed us from the curse of the law.” Here is why mankind needs a Redeemer. Because of sin, all mankind is under the curse of the law. Sin does not bless; it only curses. The world paints sin so attractively and enticingly. The world makes sin look rewarding, delightful, and exciting. But “curse” exposes all the world’s advertising as bogus and deceitful. Instead of benefiting us, sin puts us in trouble with God Almighty. It brings upon us condemnation from God, for our sin has broken the holy law of God.
Substitution/Calvary. “Being made a curse for us.” This tells us how Christ is able to redeem us. He became our substitute and took upon Himself the curse of sin on our behalf. Where did Christ do this? The answer is in our verse. He did it at Calvary, “for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree.” The word translated “tree” is the word often used to refer to crosses. Christ’s death on Calvary was His being our substitute in taking our curse that we might be saved. All of this says salvation is not God winking at our sin and allowing us into heaven. No, our sin had to be adequately punished. And it was adequately punished in Christ, Who because of His sinlessness could be our substitute.