From the LYWB.com team: Ironically, the closer we get to Christmas, the harder it can be to keep our attention focused on Jesus, the true reason for the season. That’s why we’re loving Consider Jesus: A 31-Day Advent Devotional by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. If you’re having trouble focusing on Jesus today, print off this post, sit near the Christmas tree and consider all that Christ has redeemed us from.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)
No sooner does the Bible begin, with its lush accounts of creation and beauty and the surge of new life, than it descends into tragedy. I never fail to feel jolted by Genesis 3—the Fall of Adam and Eve into open rebellion. It’s as if someone opened a can of dark paint and slung the full, contaminating contents over a beautiful canvas. The picture was instantly wrecked. The whole big, beautiful world became cold and darkened.
There’s no sugarcoating this curse, which even now casts its long shadow across the earth as a result of that devastating episode. We hear some of it in God’s words to the first couple after their fall into sin—words of pain and sweat and dust and death (Gen. 3:16–19).
Let us never sweeten our picture of God to the extent that we fail to see Him capable of imposing a curse on sin. His justice demands it. In His holiness He cannot do otherwise. Our disobedience is not a slight to Him; it is a grave and punishable offense. Sin must always be punished.
But the fact that God came to those first humans even after their sin and betrayal, that He chose to step again into the ravaged Eden—never miss the stunning mercy of that moment. “They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8). He had come to deliver an announcement of cursing, yes. But at least he had come.
God came. And His coming in that moment tells us something beautiful this Christmas.
The rest of the Old Testament is a gritty, glorious portrait of God’s coming to His people again and again and again, reminding them of how their sin had doomed them to His curse, but how it could never diminish His original desire to bless. Humankind had taken a picture-perfect setting and made it uninhabitable, but God came into that cursed place and declared that He would rectify this situation.
That’s why Jesus came.
He walked into a world that was broken and wrecked. Everything the curse entails—hardship, struggle, pain, grief, heartache, turmoil, limitation, condemnation—Jesus came to encounter. Long before God came into the garden pronouncing His curse, He had already planned for Someone to come and stand in our place, to take the full brunt of that curse for us, and to bear the righteous punishment our sin deserves.
The curse was no small thing. The cross could be no small thing either.
We can never really experience God’s blessing—or the blessing of Christmas—if we’ve not felt what it means to be under His curse. If sin grieved the heart of God enough to cost the death of His only Son, the cure He delivered should cause our hearts to respond with an acceptable sacrifice of our own . . . the sacrifice of praise.
Father, may I never minimize the weight of my sin, seeing it as insignificant or merely regrettable, something I should be able to work around. You knew from the beginning that there could be no work-around, that the only fix for the curse was sending Jesus right into the center of it. I praise You, Lord, that You refused to stop at my failure. Thank You for showing me the great mercy of Your blessing.
- How have you experienced the gravity of sin’s curse in your life?
- How do you still feel its consequences in and around you?
- Remember, “He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.”
Merry Christmas, LYWB.com readers! It’s a privilege to share words and stories with you on this blog, and our team cannot wait to keep writing to you in 2020—but we need your help to keep identifying lies and replacing them with God’s Truth! The Lies Young Women Believe blog is donor funded. (Did you know that?!) If you’ve been encouraged through this ministry, would you consider supporting us by giving a few dollars? You can learn more about our year-end needs here.
Thank you, readers! We are honored to seek Jesus with you.
— Samatha Nieves, Lies Young Women Believe blog content manager