I’ve not been feeling well lately, which has led to some time pondering the Genesis 3 curse. Boy, anyone who think’s sin’s not a big deal sure hasn’t spent much time thinking about it. Just look at what the results of the one “original” sin are:
- Conflict where there had been peace (vv. 15-16)
- Struggle where the burden had been light (vv. 17-19)
- Pain where there had been joy (v. 16-17)
- Thorns and thistles where the ground had been pleasant (v. 18)
- Death where there was life (vv. 19, 21)
All of creation is fallen, cursed, because of man. It’s a weighty realization. A sobering reality.
But you know… Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (that is, what is written in the Old Testament Scriptures). That’s where these curses are written, and they are indeed fulfilled in him.
Where we had been at war with God, Jesus brings peace1. He shouldered the burden of sin and gives us an easy yoke2, living a life of pain – with nowhere to even lay his head – that we might have the joy of a clean conscience3. When the pain was approaching fever-pitch (after he was scourged and just before being nailed to the cross) He was crowned with the very thorns that had been promised as man’s punishment so many years before – a reminder of the curse that He now embodied4. He succumbed to death, and was laid in the very ground that was cursed on behalf of man5. On the third day, having defeated death, He came out of the tomb victorious to grant life to all that believe in His name6.
Wow. Talk about a full-circle.
Try it sometime: open up your Bible and look at the curses in the Old Testament, then look to Christ who fulfills them (I’ll give you another example: here). Read Isaiah 53 and meditate on the willingness of the Lord of Glory to subject Himself to His own curses, to fulfill His law and redeem us out of our bodies of sin.
2. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
cf. Isaiah 53:4
3. “He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:3-5
cf. Isaiah 53 (all)
5. “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.” – John 19:41-42
cf. Matthew 27:59-60, Mark 15:46, Luke 23:53
6. “…but these [things] are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” – John 20:31