How amazing that the Lord Jesus should be ‘made a curse for us’! The threat of judgement hung over every lawbreaker, Gal. 3. 10, and the penalty had to be executed. To redeem His people from that threat, He became accountable and bore the promised wrath. To make that obvious, His death involved Him being ‘hanged on a tree’, Acts 5. 30. Thus, He was ‘made a curse for us’, Gal. 3. 13, for ‘cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree’.
The background to the title is the stubborn and rebellious son, Deut. 21. 23. City elders would hear the parents’ complaints, and then there was the stoning. As a further indignity, the offender could be hung on a tree. We never read of it happening! Hophni and Phineas were tolerated, 1 Sam. 3. 13, Absalom was pampered, 2 Sam. 13. 39, and the prodigal was pardoned, Luke 15. 20. The Son of God was neither stubborn, ‘I delight to do thy will’, Ps. 40. 8, nor rebellious, ‘I was not rebellious’, Isa. 50. 5: nor was He disobedient for He was declared to be ‘obedient unto death’, Phil. 2. 8. Approachable and sociable, He came ‘eating and drinking’, Matt. 11. 19, but He was no glutton or drunkard, and yet He was hung on a tree.
Treason or treachery occasioned the hanging of the chief butler, Ahithophel, Haman and Judas; deservedly, the curse came upon them. The Son of God was loyal, kind and true, and yet He was made a curse. Though He was never stoned at the city gate, He was taken there, for He ‘suffered without the gate’, Heb. 13. 12. Rulers at the gate were hostile, Ps. 69. 12, as were the drunkards, at the opposite end of the social scale. Unlike the offender of Deuteronomy chapter 21 verse 23, He was hung alive on the tree. We worship as we ponder His willingness to experience such physical anguish, but, especially, the fact that He became a curse ‘for us’.
Extracted from Day by Day Divine Titles published by Precious Seed Publications.