NKJV - 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree").
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In addition to the Ten Commandments, God gave Moses the ceremonial law. Large sections of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are dedicated to these temporary laws. All the sacrificial ceremonies, feasts and holy days were only “shadows” meant to teach Israel about Christ's future sacrifice on the cross (Heb 10:1; Col 2:17). However, these laws should not be confused with the Ten Commandments - nothing has changed - adultery (the 7th commandments) was a sin before the cross, as well as after the cross. Curses were prescribed for disobeying these social and ceremonial laws (Deut 27:26; Gal 3:10) – there are no curses in the Ten Commandments. Christ's death on the cross atoned for the transgressions that were committed under the OT (Heb. 9:15), as well as for all those since the cross. Christ took upon Himself the curse incurred by those who, though living under the law, looked forward in faith to the atonement that He would one day provide. Since justification comes through faith in Christ, Gentiles as well as Jews now have access to it looking back to the cross.
Great question, Robert! John Gill thinks that the believer being redeemed from the curse of the law means "redeemed from the second death, the lake which burns with fire and brimstone." -- Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible As the hymnwriter, Philip P. Bliss, so eloquently expressed it, “Cursed by the law, and bruised by the Fall, Christ hath redeemed us Once For All.” ***Isaiah 53:5 (Living Bible): 5 But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed! The Law exposes sin in our lives, which places us under the curse of the Law, which is death - i.e. separation from God. The curse of the Law rests on all humanity.. and everyone is under condemnation because we have all broken God's Law. But Christ became sin for us. Christ was cursed by the Law on our account and He paid the penalty of the Law, which we broke.
Christ, as the son of man, experienced "the 2nd death" or the God abandonment death. (see Matthew 27:46) No one but Christ has experienced "the 2nd death" - the curse of the law. Everyone who has ever died experienced only "the first death". "The curse of the law" is then goodbye to life forever with no hope of a resurrection. The believer has been saved from this God abandonment. Therefore "the curse of the law" is equivalent to God's abandonment of those "under law".
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