As you probably know by now I love language, words and ultimately books. It fascinates me how we use language and its effectiveness (or not) in communication. Have you noticed that different groups use language in ways that makes it special to them? For instance the acting fraternity call one another “Darling”, the building gangs call one another “Mate”, and the Christian family call one another, “Brother or Sister”.
This is just the beginning, as part of the individual communities lie a culture of sayings of manner of speech which are foreign to those outside it! This can be particularly challenging for the Christians as they also want to encourage people in and share their love for Jesus. However, explaining words like Redemption, Salvation and Sin can be off putting at worse and over familiar at best! But that’s another story.
A phrase that grabbed me yesterday when I was spending some quality time with God and friends from Church was “the curse of sin”. It came up in the middle of a prayer I was reading and speaking aloud: “…I choose to believe that I am no longer under the curse of the law because Christ became a curse for me…” and I found it a puzzle. What did it really mean?
Like a crossword puzzle where the answer is on the tip of the tongue, this teased me and I wouldn’t be satisfied until I could make sense of it.
Do you have any words or phrases which you hear from your Christian family that you think: “Really!! what are they talking about?” Or “I don’t understand what has just been said“. Perhaps you can challenge it, ask for an explanation or perhaps you stay silent thinking you will look stupid if you admit not knowing, or perhaps you think you know the answer but haven’t considered it deeply before. The need for acceptance runs deep, and our language is one part of this.
This is why I love Holy Spirit so much. Holy Spirit gently encourages more understanding especially of the Word, the Bible. There are no secrets from Him and He wants us all to fully understand what God and Jesus have to say. Without this knowledge how can we know the Truth?
So I explored a little more, asking friends who are more experienced than me, checking through Google and asking Holy Spirit to reveal to me its meaning. What is the curse of Sin about and how can Christ become it? Like most phrasing it is where the link between the Old and the New Testaments meet or join together.
There seemed to me three elements to my understanding of this phase: Sin, Law and Jesus
Firstly, Sin to me is not only when we do something wrong (deliberately or as a consequence of some event or action) but when I feel uncomfortable about a situation. Without feeling at peace in myself, I know there is sin around somewhere and it is my job to discover where it is coming from. Is it:
- My action.
- My assumption
- My reaction
- The situation
- Other People’s Agenda
- The environment
I can then seek to make changes, pray, ask forgiveness and choose to move on… But that’s another story …
Secondly, the Law. This is written in the Old Testament attributed to Moses, and contains over 600 laws by which Jews had to live by and if they failed then a curse was a penalty. This came from the original 10 laws which God actually gave us in His commandments! How quickly, we as humans add and complicate our words, language and actions! Can you imagine trying to abide by over 600 laws and rules in order to match God’s will?
Thirdly, Jesus, and thankfully everything comes back to Him. Jesus knew that it was an impossibility to keep all these laws, despite people trying. It messed them up when they failed and self-condemnation and judgement from others became part of the Cursing. This is central to why Jesus had to die on the cross. By being crucified, and fulfilling many prophesies (but that’s another story) Jesus took on all the sins of the world on his shoulders – it was this point that God found it impossible to look at Him. He took the sins of the people of the time, of their ancestors and of future generations – including you and I. He did this so we did not have to obey 600 laws in order to be accepted and loved by God. In this Jesus freed us from this curse of the Law.
So, do you understand it more, or do you see it from another angle – do let me know, theologians and practical believers – what is your take?
So I ‘get’ this phrase now, I’m not sure I’ll be using it in my own vocabulary very soon and before too long I know I’ll be challenged by another phrase. This is exciting because it is how I learn more about this great world and language of God (and perhaps, how we humans have complicated it!). Perhaps this is why God gives us the gift of tongues? A direct language between us and Him where no one can correct the grammar, lexicon or accent! …but that is also another story!
So, what words or phrases are either setting your teeth on edge or ones which you don’t understand its full meaning? Let me know, I would be really interested and I am sure you will surprise me.
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