What Does it Mean That "Jesus Became a Curse for Us"?

What Does it Mean That “Jesus Became a Curse for Us”?

What Does it Mean That “Jesus Became a Curse for Us”?

by Steve Backlund


Here is some thrilling, good news written about in Divine Strategies about a key benefit you received through salvation, found in Galatians 3:13-14:

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’) that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

— Galatians 3:13-14

Jesus took all the curses that I deserved because of the choices made by my ancestors and me. He offers to me a great exchange. If I give Him the curses I earn because of violating His spiritual laws, then He will give us the blessing of Abraham that He merited through His sinless life of never breaking a spiritual law. We receive this gift by grace through faith. This is a tremendous aspect of the good news of our salvation! 

Galatians 3:13-14 says that Jesus did not just remove our curses from us but actually became a curse for us. This has profound meaning. Jesus not only took the negative consequences of sinful choices, but He actually struck a death blow to our cursed nature itself. He became cursed so that we would not have to experience the cursed nature. Indeed, we are the righteousness of Christ and that certainly is not cursed. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21.)

To help us understand this further, consider these words that God spoke to Abram (whose name was later changed to Abraham):

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing

— Genesis 12:2-2

God blessed Abraham but, incredibly, He also made him a blessing. He became like the Ark of Covenant that brought undeserved abundance and success to Obed-Edom and his household (see previous teaching here).

Consider this truth: What is in us is greater than what was in the Ark of the Covenant! We are living in a superior covenant that has better promises (Hebrews 8:6). The depth of Christ’s experience in the negative (becoming a curse) opens the door for a correspondingly great happening in the positive (becoming a blessing).

Paul says “the blessing of Abraham” (Galatians 3:14) is available to us. This is activated when “we receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Let’s rejoice that the Spirit in the Ark is now in us and will bless all the families of the earth through us! Praise God!

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord . . . and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3)

The laws of the spirit are more real than the natural laws. Just as the law of gravity can work for us or against us, so do God’s spiritual laws.

God’s laws primarily are principles to release blessing, not rules to be obeyed to gain right standing with God. The Psalmist talks of one whose prime delight is in the law of the Lord. This person not only discovers how to cheerfully make life-changing deposits into the spirit realm, but, more importantly, how to find new aspects of the nature of God (hidden in each law) to behold and worship. The end result of this delighting is a transformed life that prospers in every endeavor. His experience can be our experience, and this book unlocks the blessings hidden in the spiritual realm.



Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve’s iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

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