Christ purchased our freedom and redeemed us from the curse of the Law and its condemnation by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might also come to the Gentiles, so that we would all receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
One definition of the word condemn is “to sentence someone to a particular punishment, especially death.” There is a clear distinction between this type of punishment and every other one we can imagine. With regard to our physical life, death is final. To be condemned denotes that all hope for reprieve is gone. This is not a temporary state of waiting, and the result of the punishment is certain. There remain no appeals. To be condemned is to reach the end of every possible way out. It is a complete state of hopelessness. Although we might not have known it to be so, this is the state in which we lived prior to Jesus Christ. We were condemned by the law that we could not fulfill and that could not save even one of us.
The curse and condemnation of the law spoken of in today’s verse refers to the fact that the law can do nothing more than show us how ungodly we are. When faced with perfection as the only way to be redeemed, we all fail. The law could provide no deliverance; it could only condemn us as the imperfect people we are. To set us free from this condemnation Jesus Christ took on the curse of the law. He made himself subject to this condemnation, the only man ever to fulfill the law, so that we could be saved through his fulfillment instead of being condemned through our failure. Before Jesus, we were dead men walking. The sentence had been handed down, and we had exhausted all our appeals. But when Jesus is accepted to come to our defense, the verdict is overturned.
Scripture tells us that there is no condemnation in Christ. This makes logical sense as Jesus took on all the condemnation of the law himself although He fulfilled it completely. He stood in the gap for us so that we could come out from under the curse of the law. His being condemned opens the door for our being forgiven. His being cursed opens the door for our receiving mercy. When we accept Jesus Christ as our savior, our future is no less certain than it was when we were lost. The difference is that we once were guaranteed condemnation but now are guaranteed grace, mercy and forgiveness. Where death once awaited us, now life awaits us. Father, thank You for sending your son to bear the curse and condemnation of the law on our behalf, and remind us that we are condemned no more.