For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13
“Crucify Him!” The screams from the bloodthirsty crowd echoed through the universe and Satan’s host cheered. Evil had won. Perfection would be silenced forever and humanity was all his. What neither Satan nor Jesus’ friends realized was that this moment had already been decreed as part of God’s plan to buy back humanity from sin’s enslavement. To be stripped bare and nailed to a tree in disgrace was the worst way to die. God’s law stated that any criminal who was hung on a tree was under God’s curse. To be crucified meant that even God had turned His back on you. What made this moment more incredible is that when Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 prophesied the kind of death Messiah must undergo, crucifixion had not been invented yet.
For Jesus to take our full punishment upon Himself, He had to experience the curse of God. In those hours as the Son of God writhed in agony between heaven and earth, He became our sin. His pure mind had never entertained a dirty, jealous, or hateful thought, yet it was flooded with every vile, perverted image human beings have entertained. The perfect hands that had healed lepers and blessed children became the hands of a pedophile, a murderer, and a thief. As He hung there, the embodiment of evil, God’s righteous wrath was poured out upon His own Son: “How could you murder babies! How could you lie steal, cheat, and lust! I cannot look at you!” When Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” the curse that Adam’s sin brought upon the world was broken. Our debt was paid. Adam brought sin’s curse through one tree; Jesus broke it through another tree.