Has Christ Redeemed Us From The Curse Of The Law?

My answer here is YES – Christ redeemed us from all the curses of the law by been made a curse for us (Gal.3:13). Remember on the cross Jesus said “it is finished”, the last sayings of Christ on the cross, none is more important or more poignant than, “It is finished.” Found only in the Gospel of John 19:30, the Greek word translated “it is finished” is tetelestai, an accounting term that means “paid in full.” When Jesus uttered those words, He was declaring the debt owed to His Father was wiped away completely and forever. Not that Jesus wiped away any debt that He owed to the Father; rather, Jesus paid in full the debt owed by mankind (you & i)—the debt of sin.

In the bible, all sin is reckoned as a debt. When a man sins, say, by stealing, the law reckons his sin as a debt to be paid to his victim. This is called restitution. The principle of redemption must be understood within the same context. To redeem someone is to redeem their debt note. Jesus came to redeem us from our sins. That is, he paid the full payment of restitution required for our sins. As our redeemer, he has certain rights prescribed in the book of  Leviticus which says:

“And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family; after that he is sold he may redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: either his uncle of his uncle’s son may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself. And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him… and the other shall not rule with rigour over him in thy sight” Leviticus 25:47-53,.

The law here tells us that a debtor always has the right to redeem himself, and a near kinsman always has the right to redeem the debtor. In these cases, the master who has a debtor in servitude to him has no option but to allow the redemption to take place. However, if the would be redeemer is not a near kinsman, and then he does have an option.

This is why it was so important for Jesus to come as a near kinsman. He did so on two Levels:

(1) “He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (Heb. 2:16) in order to redeem the house of Israel.

(2) He took upon himself flesh and blood (Heb. 2:14) in order to be a near kinsman to mankind in general. Thus, he can deliver all “who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:15).

The debtor who is redeemed is to serve the redeemer “as a yearly hired servant” (Lev. 25:53). In other words, the redeemer buys the servant’s debt note. The servant simply changes masters and now works for his near kinsman. He is not free in the absolute sense, even though he has been redeemed.

Read also: You Are Not Under The law

Paul appeals to this law in Romans 6, right after telling us we should not continue in sin just because we are under Grace. Continuing in that passage, we read,

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of servants of sin [the stranger that waxed rich by us], but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin [the foreign master], ye became the servants of righteousness [Jesus Christ and His law]. I speak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of your flesh; for as ye yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness…..but we being made free from sin, and become servants to God; ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Sin was a harsh taskmaster while we were apart from Christ. But our near kinsman, Jesus Christ, came to redeem us from the debt that we could not pay. He redeemed our debt note, and so now that we are made free from sin- the taskmaster – we have “become servants to God” and are expected to follow his law. In our obedience to his law, we are “servant to righteousness”, and we have “fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” glory to God!.

Therefore, we conclude that the law is still highly relevant to Christians. It was not put away or destroyed by Grace when Jesus redeemed us from master sin. Instead, Jesus redeemed us according to the righteous law redemption, and by that same law, we are now servants of God, subject to his law. Let us discard the notion that we are now totally free to do as we please according to what we think is right or wrong. We should indeed follow our conscience, but only insofar it is saturated with the word. If our conscience has been “seared” (1 Tim. 4:2) by the spirit of lawlessness, it will not serve us properly in discerning right from wrong. Thanks be to Jesus Christ for paying  our debt in full.


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