My dear friend, thank you for this very good question. I’ll begin with the context of the New Testament Scripture where this thought is brought before us, that being Galatians 3:13 where we read, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree…” In Galatians Chapter 3, the Apostle Paul is rebuking the Galatian Christians because they had allowed false teachers, perhaps those of a Jewish background, to convince them that their salvation was not based solely on faith in Christ’s finished work on Calvary, on His shedding of blood and death which paid the price for our redemption through faith, but rather they were believing that other works of the law, such as circumcision, were also required for salvation. Paul was reminding them that like Abraham of old, righteousness was imputed to Abraham by faith and that alone, and not by works. In Genesis 15:4-6 we read, “And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him (Abraham), saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” You might recall that Abraham preceded the law, and thus this righteousness was imputed to Abraham based solely and alone on his faith in the Word of God. The law was later given as a rule, or a schoolmaster, to show the children of God His standard of holiness, until Christ should come. None of us could ever be saved by keeping the law; thus we, because we are sinners, come under the curse of the law. We need a Savior, and that Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ.

My dear friend, do you know that you are a sinner?  In Romans 3:23, The Bible says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.  All have sinned–that means each and every one of us.  Being a sinner is not a matter of degree.  You are either a sinner or you are not.  You may feel you have not sinned like those around you. The issue isn’t the number of sins you may have committed, but that you sin at all.  We read In James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”  The law sets the standard of perfect obedience, but we are not perfectly obedient. We have either broken God’s law, or we have not.  It is perfect obedience, or judgment—and which of us is perfectly obedient?  Additionally, there is a consequence for sin. We read in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  In Ezekiel 18:4 we read that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”  Death is the consequence of sin, and this is the curse of the law which is upon each and every one of us before we believe on Christ.

Now, let’s go to the Old Testament treatment of the verse you mentioned. We read in Deuteronomy 5:22-23, “And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” Here, the law is teaching that if a guilty man is put to death by hanging on a tree, it is a sign that he is cursed of the LORD, and he must be taken down from the tree that very day lest the land be defiled also. The Lord Jesus is said to have been “hanged on the tree” by nailing Him to the cross as we read in Acts 5:30, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree”. Now, the Lord Jesus was not guilty of sin because He was absolutely sinless; however, he endured the curse that we ourselves deserved by being crucified on the cross of Calvary, in order to pay the price for our redemption. We read in II Corinthians 5:21, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”.

Thus, Christ Jesus, who knew no sin, and was incapable of sin, endured the curse that should have been ours by dying for us on the cross. And now, through faith alone in His finished work on our behalf, that curse is removed, and we are thus saved from judgment; through that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are also brought into the very family of God, and are in-dwelt that very moment that we believe, by the Holy Spirit who gives us a new nature and a new life-we are born again, and made fit for heaven.  Oh, the joy of knowing our sins are all forgiven, and we’re on our way to heaven! I pray that you too have believed so that you can know the joy of such a great salvation!  (463.3)  (SF)