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(12) The Mission of Achieving God’s Covenant

Jesus was cursed. People crucified and killed Him. The cross was a device for the death penalty in the Roman Empire. If someone was crucified, it meant that their sins were very obvious and serious. Since He was hung on the cross, there was no doubt Jesus was a sinner. People cursed Him, and He was cursed by God. Moses explained the Law to the people of Israel and said, “Anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse” (Deu 21:23, NRSV). Jesus was cursed in the presence of both people and God.

It was God’s will for Jesus to be cursed. Jesus knew this also. Though He earnestly requested, “My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me” (Mat 26:39, NIV), He did what God wanted. Jesus made the Father’s love for mankind entirely His own. The words Rebekah said to her son Jacob shows Jesus’ heart: “My son, if your father curses you, let the curse fall on me. But receive your father’s blessings” (Gen 27:13).

God sent Jesus to be cursed so that we could be blessed. So how much should we cherish this blessing? There might be people who feign ignorance and say, “I don’t think that I’m blessed yet.” But if you received the Holy Spirit, you are already blessed. Apostle Paul said regarding this matter, ‘Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith’ (Gal 3:13-14, NRSV).

The blessing we received is called ‘the blessing of Abraham’. Why did he refer to it as ‘the blessing of Abraham’, and not ‘the blessing of God’ or ‘the blessing of Jesus Christ’? This is because God planted the seed of blessing in the field called ‘Abraham’. The blessing Abraham received from God has now reached the Gentiles in Jesus Christ. We came to possess the blessing of Abraham, independent of Abraham’s genealogy.

God said to Abraham, “You will be a blessing. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen 12:2-3). Anyone in Christ is now a blessing. Worldly gods also say they will bless people. They even entice them to hurt others with blessings as a reward. But God’s promises are different: He promised not just to give blessings, but to make us into a blessing so all people on earth can be blessed.

If Christians are only interested in asking themselves, “Have I been blessed?”, this is very sad. It is strange to make the vow, “I’m going to be blessed!” It is also misleading to say, “’Work hard at your faith if you want to be blessed!” Our concerns should go from “How shall I be blessed?” to “How shall I bless all people?”

‘Being blessed’ does not come from your love and respect. You are not blessed through being kind and considerate. However, it is a different story if you want to bless all people. You have to love and respect. The Gospel cannot be heard if you are not kind and considerate. Jesus is the Son of God, but He suffered. He did not become God’s Son by His suffering. But all people were blessed through Him because He had suffered.

Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center