"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose"—

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us." Galatians 3:13

"CURSE!"—"the curse of the law;" a curse resting on the soul of man, and on the fair earth which forms his dwelling!

"Man's world is pain and terror,
He found it pure and fair,
And wove in nets of sorrow
The golden summer air.
Black, hideous, cold, and dreary,
Man's curse, not God's, is there!

"Man's world is bleak and bitter;
Wherever he has trod
He spoils the tender beauty
That blossoms on the sod,
And blasts the loving heaven
Of the great, good world of God!"

From that black, blighting, blasting curse, man and his world are redeemed.

"REDEEMED!" In an earthly sense, none knew, or could appreciate so fully the significance of that word, as pilgrim Israel, when, after their wondrous Exodus, they sat under the shadow of these Elim-palms in the Sinai wilderness. The echoes of their great redemption song was still lingering in their hearts, "In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling." (Ex. 15:13).

It was the type and foreshadow of a greater deliverance—a deliverance which has given birth to a grander strain, "You have redeemed us unto God by Your blood!"

And who was this Redeemer? We read in classic story that Pylades laid down his life for Orestes his friend. "But God commends His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." He, the true Aaron, with the burning coals in His censer of love, has come between the living and the dead, and the plague is halted! He, the true David, when the lion and the bear were rushing on his defenseless flock, encountered them single-handed and alone, and rescued them from "the mountains of prey!" He, the true antitypical scapegoat, has had the sins of His spiritual Israel laid upon Him, and has borne away the curse forever, into a land of forgetfulness!

The arm of the law is powerless. "There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus!" To turn again to that 'birthday of freedom' so intimately associated with the encampment of the Hebrews at Elim, that must have indeed been a memorable morning when the victorious host stood on the other side of the Red Sea. Terrible, too, these trophies of Divine vengeance that strewed the beach; the bodies of Pharaoh's warriors, with the sword still fastened by their side or clutched with nerveless hands.

Or, to take a similar incident in the future Jewish annals, dreadful must have been that spectacle—the armored legions of Sennacherib—who had, the night before, been gathering up their strength like a proud wave, to dash themselves against the towers of Zion. When the morning dawns, the 180,000 are still there, with sword and spear and helmet and streaming banner; but these banners wave over a silent camp. The trumpet lies beside silent lips; it is a camp of death. Sword and spear are still intact; but the arms that wielded them are impotent. The destroying angel has descended at midnight, and converted the Assyrian tent into a sepulcher!

"The battlefield lies still and cold,
While stars, that watch in silent night,
Gleam here and there on weapons bright
In the dead sleepers' slackened hold."

So it is with the curses of the law. Like the weapons of Pharaoh or the Assyrians, they are still there; each demanding satisfaction, and declaring, "The soul that sins shall die." But the Great Angel has come down in the night of earth's moral and spiritual darkness and paralyzed them. He has, by His own doing and dying, rendered the law powerless to smite. "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us!"

Child of God, member of the ransomed family of the true Israel which He has purchased with His own blood, "as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed your transgressions from you." Amazing picture! You can take the wings of the morning, and make the sun your chariot—traverse intervening oceans and continents until that sun dips his burning wheels in the western wave; and when you take a retrospective view of that magnificent circuit, think of it as God's own emblem of the distance to which He is willing to remove your transgressions from your sight and His own!

Or take another scripture, depicting the same wondrous truth in equally impressive figure. It is the midst of a wide, vast wilderness of waters, the boundless horizon stretching on every side; and when the sounding line is let down, it cannot fathom the depth, it fails to reach the bottom. There, in the solitudes of that voiceless ocean, a plunge is heard. The surface is ruffled only for a moment; but the waves resume their usual play—all is calm again. The load, whatever it be, is never more seen. It is buried somewhere in these dark caverns. No spirit of the deep can ever come up from the silent caves to tell its story. Ships cross and re-cross where it fell, but no milestone is left on the unstable highway, to mark the spot. The sea can be tempted by no bribe to give up the secret of its keeping; it is lost from sight, and trace, and memory, forever. That is a picture of what God is willing to do to you, and to me. "You will cast all their sins into the depth of the sea" (Micah 7:19).

The one paramount reflection arising from these thoughts is surely this—How wondrous the love of God in not sparing His own, His only Son, but freely giving Him up to be a curse for us! He, even HE—could give no costlier proof of divine affection. Reader! having given you the greater pledge, you may take it as a guarantee for the bestowment of all lesser blessings. When His providential dispensations at times seem baffling; when there seems no bright light in the cloud, no mercy in His footstep; when you are apt to say with Gideon, "If the Lord be with us, why has all this happened to us?" return to that cross—that mysterious smiting! Let it hush every rebellious surmise. Did He wear that crown of thorns for you? Did He pour out His life's blood for you? Did He become a CURSE for you? And will you murmur at anything proceeding from a Father's hands?

"Yes! Mourning one—a thought like this
May well each faithless doubt remove;
Take from all tears their bitterness,
That God is LOVE!"

"I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed."

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