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  • Samuel at Gilgal

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How was Jesus made a Curse?

Charles H. SpurgeonJesus in his sufferings performed the payment of a ransom, the giving to justice a quid pro quo for what was due on our behalf for our sins. He suffered what we ought to have suffered. The sins that were our’s were made His; He was made a curse for us. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

How was Christ made a curse? In the first place, he was made a curse because all the sins of his people were actually laid on him. “He made him to be sin for us”; and let me quote from Isaiah, “The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”; and yet another statement from the same prophet, “He shall bear their iniquities.” The sins of God’s people were lifted from off them and imputed to Christ, and their sins were looked upon as if Christ had committed them. He was regarded as if he had been the sinner; he actually and in very deed stood in the sinner’s place. Next to the imputation of sin came the curse of sin. The law, looking for sin to punish, with its quick eye detected sin laid upon Christ and, as it must curse sin wherever it was found, it cursed the sin as it was laid on Christ. So Christ was made a curse.

Wonderful and awful words, but, as they are scriptural words, we must receive them. Sin being on Christ, the curse came on Christ, and in consequence, our Lord felt an unutterable horror of soul. . . .

We have been accustomed to divide the penalty into two parts, the penalty of loss and the penalty of actual suffering. Christ endured both of these. It was due to sinners that they should lose God’s favor and presence, and therefore Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” It was due to sinners that they should lose all personal comfort; Christ was deprived of every consolation and even the last rag of clothing was torn from him and he was left, like Adam, naked and forlorn. … As for the second part of the punishment – namely, an actual infliction of suffering – our Lord endured this also to the extreme, as the evangelists clearly show. You have often read the story of his bodily sufferings; take care that you never depreciate them. There was an amount of physical pain endured by our Savior, which his body could never have borne unless it had been sustained and strengthened by union with his Godhead; yet the sufferings of his soul were the soul of his sufferings. That soul of his endured a torment equivalent to hell itself. . . .

The consequences are that he has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Those for whom Christ died are forever Charles H. Spurgeonfree from the curse of the law; for when the law comes to curse a man who believes in Christ, he says, “What have I to do with you, O law? You say, ‘I will curse you,’ but I reply, ‘You have cursed Christ instead of me. Can you curse twice for one offence?’ And the law is silenced! God’s law having received all it can demand is not so unrighteous as to demand anything more. All that God can demand of a believing sinner, Christ has already paid, and there is no voice in earth or heaven that can accuse a soul that believes in Jesus after that. … Here is a glorious bottom to rest upon! Here is a rock upon which to lay the foundation of eternal comfort! Let a man get to this truth: my Lord outside the city’s gate bled for me as my Surety, and on the cross discharged my debt. Why then, great God, I no longer fear your thunder. How can you condemn me now? You have exhausted the quiver of your wrath; every arrow has already been used against my Lord, and I am in him clear and clean, absolved and delivered, as if I had never sinned. (“Advice for Seekers”)

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