Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Mind-Crushing Paradox of the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ


                                                             (Cross, on our front yard)

Fleming Rutledge writes:

The important thing [in Galatians 3:10-14] here is Paul’s announcement (kerygma) that God, in the person of his sinless Son, put himself voluntarily and deliberately into the condition of greatest accursedness — on our behalf and in our place. This mind-crunching paradox lies at the heart of the Christian message.

Rutledge, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (p. 100)

What does Gal. 3:10-14 say? Here is J. Louis Martyn's translation.

Those whose identity is derived from observance of the Law 

are under the power of a curse, because it stands written, 

“Cursed is everyone who is not steadfast in observing all of the things 

written in the book of the Law, so as to do them” [Deut. 27:26]. 

That before God no one is being rectified by the Law 

is clear from the fact that “The one who is rectified by faith will live” [Hab. 2:4].

 Moreover, the Law does not have its origin in faith; 

if it did have its origin there, it would not say, 

“The one who does the commandments will live by them” [Lev. 18:5]. 

Christ redeemed us from the Law’s curse, 

becoming a curse in our behalf; 

for it stands written, 

“Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” [Deut. 21:23b]. 

He did this in order that the blessing of Abraham 

might come to the Gentiles in Jesus Christ; 

in order, that is, that we might receive the promise, 

which is the Spirit, through faith.