Shepherd of Israel,
may Jesus, Emmanuel and son of Mary,
be more than just a dream in our hearts.
With the apostles, prophets, and saints,
save us, restore us,
and lead us in the way of grace and peace,
that we may bear your promise into the world. Amen.
10 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.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”[b]12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 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”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit[c] through faith.
I am a rule follower. I will give you a minute to stop laughing. I am a rule follower. I really enjoy following all the rules that I think are the right rules. I quickly disregard the rules that I see no value in, but if I find value in it then you can be sure that I will follow it. I don’t intentionally look to find fault with rules I don’t follow, it just seems that there is a fault in them since I don’t desire following them. Speed limits are one of those things. And one that is causing me much self –angst here in Fremantle is that I have moved from a miles per hour speed limit to a kilometre per hour speed limit. In the states I knew exactly how much pressure to apply on the accelerator pedal in order to achieve the right MPH for whatever zone I was driving in. Down Under I am still trying to navigate the right pressure. I find myself speeding and it drives me crazy. I just can’t quite get the right pressure. It’s too fast and then I slow to far down and then speed up, it is no wonder that some of my family are suffering from car sickness.
In the in between, the now and now yet, we look for control in our lives by thinking our obedience to certain rules allows us to find favour with God. If God likes us because we have done the right things then things will go smoothly. That is not the way it works. Faith is the answer. It is faith that Jesus redeemed us by becoming a curse for us allowing us to live in righteousness instead of bondage to false attainment of God through human effort.
Too often when we work to prove ourselves we elevate certain things we can attain in the law for everyone. We put the curse back on them while thinking we have removed it from ourselves. We see the rules that we keep as the most important rules and suppose that those who don’t fall short. Curse. At the same time they may be doing the exact same thing to us. Curse.
Hear today that the curse is removed. We are free and we are righteous in Christ alone.