The Curse and Jesus' Death
Dr. Kris A. Jackson
The carnal believer speaks out of both sides of his mouth. Paul mentioned being “doubletongued” (1 Timothy 3:8) or what we might call “speaking with a forked tongue”. James wrote, “Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be” (James 3:10). We are to speak blessings, not cursings, but listen closely and you will hear people curse their mates, their children, their pets, their car, their job, their house, their government, their neighbors, you name it. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. We should never speak death when Jesus came to give life more abundantly. Even adverse personalities merit blessing –“Bless them who persecute you: bless, and curse not” (Romans 12:14). In other words, QUIT YOUR CURSING!
I say that because, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…” (Galatians 3:13) Calvary “turned the curse into a blessing” (Nehemiah 13:2). The Cross double-crossed the enemy’s plans. Mankind was under a terrible spell. Because of Adam’s initial sin death passed upon all men. We only furthered the alienation by following in his footsteps. The whole race was described as “cursed children” (2 Peter 2:14). If one was to observe from another planet he would think something is terribly wrong with these earthlings. The front page of every newspaper records the tragic results - war, plagues, natural disaster, fractured families, crime, sickness, enslavement, terrorism and a thousand other ills.
But Jesus Christ, the Blessed, was willing to become a curse in our stead – “…for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”. The Just died for the unjust, the Blessed for the cursed. What Jesus accomplished on the cross fulfilled the Old Testament ordinance - “And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and you hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God…” (Deuteronomy 21:22,23) Of course, Jesus never committed a sin worthy of death, but as Substitute He “bore our sins in his own body on the tree…” (1 Peter 2:24)Remember, his body didn’t remain all night on the tree, or crossbeam, and not a bone was broken. He perfectly paid the price for our redemption.
First, Jesus’ death redeemed us from the curse of the Law
Upon the Hebrews’ entrance into the Promised land, six tribal heads were to stand on Mt. Gerizim to bless and six were to station at Mt. Ebal to curse. Deuteronomy chapter 28 catalogued the blessings awarded for obedience to the laws of God as well as the myriad curses meted out for disobedience. “The curse causeless shall not come” (Proverbs 26:2). Behind every curse is a root cause, rebellion, some form of idolatry or witchcraft, or perhaps some trans-generational iniquity. Be cautious when it comes to labeling everything as a curse. Some hardships and thorny situations in life are permitted by a good God for our perfection, but we can also discern patterns of poverty, sickness, torment and various bondages that testify of possible curses.
Scripture speaks of “all these curses” or “all the curses” of the law seven times. Six references are in Deuteronomy and one in 2 Chronicles. As a ram or bull’s blood was sprinkled seven times on the Tabernacle altar, Jesus bled from seven areas of His body. He made seven redemptive cries from the cross. Seven is God’s wholistic, redemptive number. When Jesus cried, “It is finished!” the demands of the Law were perfectly and permanently met. He bore the whole curse, divine judgment, the penalty of the law, torment for our torments, and death for sin. If He took upon Himself the totality of our curse, QUIT YOUR CURSING!
Second, Jesus’ death redeemed us from the curse of the Fall
Why did He die on a cross sawn from a tree? Last Adam died on a tree to redeem the former Adam who illegally ate from a tree. Adam’s Creator decreed, “Cursed is the ground for your sake” (Genesis 3:17). I look at my lush lawn this rainy springtime and rejoice that my ground is blessed! It wasn’t always that way. Thorns and thistles are evidence of the cosmic order gone awry. Jesus wore a crown of thorns to redeem man from the curse of thorns and thistles, pronounced in the garden. He sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane to redeem us from the curse of sweat declared back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:19). There is an interesting verse that says a priest should not wear anything that causes sweat (Ezekiel 44:18). Life and ministry are not to be toil, this side of the Cross, because Jesus sweated it out for us. So, don’t sweat it! And QUIT YOUR CURSING!
Now, this is not to say that Planet Earth has yet returned to its Edenicglory. The whole creation groans as it awaits the return of Christ and the restoration of all things. But the inner life has become a garden for all who accept and trust in Jesus. In stating that Christ has “redeemed” us from the curse of the law, Paul uses the Greek term exagorazo – ek/ out from, combined with agora/ the Grecian marketplace. We can interpret that Jesus went into the marketplace of humanity and literally purchased us out from its captivity. We are now in the world but not of it. The enemy has no more hold on the redeemed.
Third, Jesus’ death redeemed us from the curse of the Accuser
Satan is the “accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10), a crafty, unrelenting prosecutor hell-bent (literally) on destroying anyone whom he can lure his way. Law says, “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, you must pay for your crimes”. But Jesus became our whipping boy and bore our crimes for us. Nature adds, “You have rebelled against the natural order, there are consequences for your actions”. But Jesus bore our physical penalty on a tree grown from nature’s ground. He was hung up for our hang-ups. Third, the Accuser goes into a tirade, “You have rebelled just as I, and your fate must be the same. Guilty! Condemned!” But Jesus became flesh in substance just as us, and He was not ashamed to call us brethren, shedding every droplet of His blood on our behalf.
Solomon warned, “Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse you, and you be found guilty” (Proverbs 30:10). You and I are God’s servants. He is our Master. And Satan is guilty of cursing us before the Throne. Hear the rendered verdict – “I will bless them that bless you, and curse him who curses you” (Genesis 12:3). Notice, there are two voices heard here, “them” and “him”. “Them” is plural for a multitude in both heaven and earth bids us well! “Him”, however, is singular. It is the solo accusation of the Evil One.
Abraham and his Seed are assured that Jehovah God will “curse him who curses you”. Satan is in deep water. His accusations have backfired. As Goliath was beheaded by David with the giant’s own sword and Haman was hung on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai, so the Cross on which Jesus was nailed became a great boomerang that serves the deathblow to Satan and his fellow-rebels.
There is no divination against Israel. Quit fearing hexes, omens, curses and superstitious spells against you. Your life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). That’s double insulation! No weapon formed against you shall prosper. Every tongue that rises against you shall be utterly condemned. As the soothsayer Balaam said to King Balak, “How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced?” (Numbers 23:8) Even this wicked prophet knew he could not curse what God has blessed.
The problem is when we pull on the same end of the rope as the devil and start cursing our own selves. David was a king, yet he allowed an enemy to hurl curses his way – “And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the opposite hillside, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust” (2 Samuel 16:13). His soldiers were ready to slay Shimei for his blasphemies, but David told them to “let him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has bidden him” (vs 11). Did God sanction Shimei’s curses? Does Heaven cast stones? Persons who allow or even feed upon self-condemnation invite accusation and cursing. By permitting Shimei’s foul mouth David was essentially cursing himself. Personally, I prefer the attitude that confesses, “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…” David was blessed, not cursed. The accuser of the brethren should have been rebuked.
So, which is it? Every individual has a choice to make. Are you facing Mt. Ebal or Mt. Gerizim? “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). The price has been paid. Blessing stands waiting with open arms. If you are blessed and choose blessing, start blessing. The curse is broken. The covenant is in force. If there be any virtue or be any praise think on these things. Pursue life. Talk faith. Bless the undeserving. Let me say it again, QUIT YOUR CURSING!