March 21
Damn you
Pastor Mark Jeske

There isn’t much real understanding of the meaning of the word curse today. People love to use “cuss words” to add intensity and flavor to their conversations, but cuss words just let you pretend that you’re an adult and demonstrate that you’re upset. They don’t really mean that they expect God the Great Judge to impose the punishment of hellfire on the people they’re cussing.

But that’s what damn means—that the verdict of guilty has been imposed by the legal authority and that the punishment is physical and eternal death in hell. That curse hung over you and me because of our sins; that curse was placed by the Father on the Son, who bore it for us. But because Christ placed himself between us and the Father’s righteous wrath, we are spared: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole’” (Galatians 3:13).

Some of the Christian Scotch-Irish mountain folk who lived in the Blue Ridge wrote a poem about Christ’s magnificent sacrifice, and they coupled it with a haunting Appalachian tune:

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!


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