Kruiz edited
Cursed for Us
Tuesday in Lent 2
14 March 2017
Martin Luther exults in the willingness of God to take human flesh in Christ. For Luther this means that Christ has taken into his person all our sins, death, and the curse of the law. This is contrary to human reason, which often seeks to save God from His own gracious radicalism. Reasonable people have a hard time swallowing the Bible's teaching that Christ became our sin and a curse for us. Such reasonable people Luther calls "sophists." These are the falsely wise folk who know more than God.
Every time has its own "sophists," who desire to tame God's Word about the work of Christ. All sophists attempt to turn Christ's life into an example worthy of imitation, rather than a substitutionary life. We too should exult in the knowledge that "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" (Gal 3:13), for He is cursed for us.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Martin Luther
"This knowledge of Christ and most delightful comfort, that Christ became a curse for us to set us free from the curse of the Law. Of this the sophists deprive us when they separate Christ from sins and from sinners and set Him forth to us only as an example to be imitated. In this way they make Christ not only useless to us but also a judge and a tyrant who is angry because of our sins and who damns sinners. But just as Christ is wrapped up in our flesh and blood, so we must wrap Him and know Him to be wrapped up in our sins, our curse, our death, and everything evil.

"'But it is highly absurd and insulting to call the Son of God a sinner and a curse!' If you want to deny that He is a sinner and a curse, then deny also that He suffered, was crucified, and died. For it is no less absurd to say, as our Creed confesses and prays, that the Son of God was crucified and underwent the torments of sin and death than it is to say that He is a sinner or a curse. But if it is not absurd to confess and believe that Christ was crucified among thieves, then it is not absurd to say as well that He was a curse and a sinner of sinners. Surely these words of Paul are not without purpose: 'Christ became a curse for us' (Gal 3:13) and 'For our sake he made him to be sin  who knew no sin, so that in him we might become  the righteousness of God'" (2Co 5:21).

Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians, 3.13
Galatians 3:8-14

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them." Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith." But the law is not of faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us- for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"- so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (ESV)
O Christ, you have become the Cursed One, that I might be freed from the curse of the Law. Send Your Holy Spirit that I might be strengthened in this faith and conviction to my eternal joy and freedom in this life. Amen
For Lutheran Schools, that all Lutheran Schools would be places where Christ's substitutionary atonement would be taught
For Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, that God would bless the work of their faculty and staff
For Brenda Blackwell, that she would continue to be encouraged by her gracious God and Lord as she prepares to receive experimental treatment for cancer
Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias  Isenheim Altarpiece (c. 1515)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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