Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cursed is He Who Hangs on a Tree

Today is the fourth day of our twelfth week, reading the Bible together.  Our scripture today is Deuteronomy 19-22; Luke 10; Psalm 6.

It is Maundy Thursday.  I hope you will seek out a house of worship this evening, and remember the Last Supper of the Lord, and His command to love one another.  Tomorrow is Good Friday--a day which was horrible for our Lord, but good for us because of the gift of life which He gave when He hung on the tree for our sins.

The Hebrew Law had a specific curse for anyone who was killed by hanging on a tree:  Deuteronomy 21:22-23 says, "And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance."

On the evening that Jesus and the thieves that were crucified with him died, there was a rush to get the men down from the crossesThe reason for the rush because of the Deuteronomy law about not leaving a body on a tree overnight.  In addition, they would not be permitted to remove the body, once the (Friday night to Saturday night) Sabbath had begun.  The legs of the thieves were broken, because they were not yet dead.  Because they could no longer push themselves up to get air, they quickly suffocated.  But Jesus was already dead, so His legs did not need to be broken--thus fulfilling the prophecy that none of his bones would be broken.  

Praise God for our Savior who was willing to go to the tree on our behalf--to suffer the pain and disgrace of crucifixion so that He could bear the full weight of our sin upon Himself.  In the exchange that took place on that tree, His holiness was imparted to us, and our sin imputed to Him.  What a Savior!  What a God!

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