Paul is not saying that the law is a curse, but that the law has a curse—death. Christ paid the penalty for our sins (Matthew 26:28; Romans 3:24-26), and so as long as we remain in the relationship with Him, we do not have to fear the eternal death that is the normal penalty for sin. II Corinthians 5:21 says that Jesus Christ "became sin for us." He took all the sins of the world upon His sinless life and paid the penalty of death for them.
Galatians 3:10 shows that it is not the law that is a curse: "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."
Deuteronomy 21:23 shows that a man who is hanged is accursed by God. That means that, if a man dies such an ignominious death, it is a sign that He has greatly displeased God. This is also why the people were not allowed to leave the body of the hanged person still hanging past sundown on a Sabbath day: It was an abomination—what the person did and what he was—and was supposed to be taken out of sight and buried. This fits in perfectly with Christ's sacrifice: He undeservedly took on all of the sins of mankind and as such the Father had to hide His face from Him. Christ was the epitome of one accursed at that point. True to form, He was also buried before sunset and arose again three days and three nights later on the Sabbath before sunset.
David C. Grabbe
Even though the law can guide a person in the right way to live, and even though it describes the character of God, it also condemns and brings one guilty before God through an awareness of sin. However, it does not possess the power to forgive, to justify, or to give life.
It takes a living Personality—the Giver and the Enforcer of the law—to forgive, to justify, and to give life. The law can do nothing to reverse the condemnation—the curse—once it is incurred through sin, but Christ took the curse upon Himself so that we do not have to bear our own punishment. The Father, in His mercy, permits His death to apply for us. He forgives and justifies us, if we accept Christ's death on our behalf with true repentance and faith.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 26)
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