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.” Galatians 3:13
God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. Romans 3:25
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
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I’ve often noted that there seems to be a lot of “God’s Wrath” in the Old Testament and then this seemingly different God who wants to be friends with us in the New Testament. It’s a contradiction that doesn’t go unnoticed and is often debated among my friends- even if it’s not something that’s debated in the upper echelons of theology buffs.
What I’ve decided recently is that the writers of the Old Testament knew that they were under the law. They knew that there was a set of rules or a moral code that must be followed in order to be considered righteous before God. They also knew how incredibly impossible it was to adhere to the standard set before them. Even the best of them was required to provide blood offerings yearly to atone for their shortcomings. They knew that once the rules were broken, someone had to pay.
But the writers of the New Testament lived in a different reality. They were writing their epistles with a different view of the law and the payment for breaking it.
They had the Cross.
They had a visual picture of the Wrath of God poured out on the Son of Man and so they knew that the price had been paid. So although they understood the importance of the law, they also knew that it was a law that would bring freedom rather than guilt for the price of breaking that law had already been paid.
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I'm spending 50 days thinking about The Cross in Preparation for Christmas. If you want to join me you can head hear each day for discussions. If you really want to dig in, you can read John Piper's book The Passion of Christ at the following link:
I’m looking forward to the conversations!
Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.