Daily Reflection: The Liberator | Galatians 3:11-14
“It’s quiet trusting faith that gets us on our feet before God so we can really live!” The treadmill of religious performance is the polar opposite of this – as the Law makes plain: “Only the one who does all that’s required finds life.” Well, just hang a millstone around our neck now and be done with it! Which is precisely what Christ took around his neck for us when he took up that cross. He liberated us from the accursed, ever-running treadmill of religious performance by taking on himself the curse of our failure to keep up. For the Law also says, “Epikataratos – cursed is any and everyone who undergoes the shame of execution by being publicly impaled.” And he did it so Gentile outsiders could be welcomed as they are into the tents of Abraham’s blessing in Christ Jesus, those tents then filling to bursting with the refreshing breeze of the Spirit-Life that God promised so long ago – and all through simple, quiet, trusting faith. Galatians 3:11-14 | MAV
The Liberator. It’s one of my favorite names for Jesus. It’s what he does for us on so many levels. Chiefly on display here is Christ liberating us from the heavy weight of condemnation at our total failure to keep pace in our daily performance. This treadmill is simply going too fast – and it never stops! When he took up that cross, he took up that millstone, and along with it, was hurled into the depths of our shame. He went down with the curse. But he didn’t stay down. And, in him, neither do we. The first and primary application here is to Israel’s failure to keep the covenant and thus serve as a channel of divine blessing and forgiveness to all the world. But in Christ, the story of Israel is completed. He did what they did not, and the condemnation the Law heaped upon them for their failure he bore in his public impaling. And now outsider Gentiles right along with them can flood through the doorway into Abraham’s tent – a doorway marked by simple trusting faith. That’s the image I see as I contemplate Paul’s words in Galatians 3:14. And it’s a biblical image. “Many will come from the east and west and will sup with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (and Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel!) in the kingdom of heaven” (see Matthew 8:11). And the best part? The dinner bell is already ringing.
Where in your life do need to experience the work of the Liberator? From what is your heart crying to be free?
Jesus, thank you for bearing the weight of my sin, for being cast into the depths of humanity’s shame – into the depths of my shame! Let me breathe in the free air of promise, faith and life.
Galatians divvies up nicely into three parts; chapters 3-4 are what I call the “thinking part.” Read both chapters in one sitting. At least once this week. Or twice.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.