Thursday, August 26, 2010
Hanging on a tree, Jesus became curse for us
Jesus was hanged up on a tree.
In Acts 5:30: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree," Peter reminded the Jews of the curse. The weight of this knowledge would have been very heavy upon them.
Jesus became curse FOR us so that we would not have to endure the curse.
Repeated again in Acts 10:39- "And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree."
The Jewish leaders likely thought that Jesus’ disciples would give up after their leader was killed in such a cursed and embarrassing manner. And it was so. The crucifixion shattered the disciples’ hopes. They were dejected and said, “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21a). Can you imagine their confusion? Jesus never had lived like they thought Messiah would live: He ate with sinners, He did not perform ritual washing prior to eating, He spent time with lepers, He rebuked the religious leaders. He was not a conquering King they had surmised, but a quiet shepherd. They had gotten used to all that, His not living the way they had thought, but then Jesus didn't even die like they thought.
Philippians 2:6-11: "who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
HOW Jesus died is almost as important as the reason He died. He became curse for us, and sin is curse. The apostles preached the crucifixion constantly. One example is in 1 Corinthians 1:23- "but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness..." Sin is something God hates because "the sting of death is sin." (1 Cor 15:56). He does not want any to perish!
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