Saturday, July 09, 2016

I Was Wondering

I came across a couple items and had a few thoughts that don't exactly add up to "Thus saith the Lord", but made me wonder.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree." (Gal 3:13)
I am just thinking out loud here. Paul refers in this verse to something that the Jews knew because God told them this (Deut 21:22-23). So, I got to thinking. Did the Jews demand that Pilate crucify Jesus for this purpose? Surely there were many other ways they could have asked for His execution. Did they want Him to be not only dead, but cursed? I don't know. It would be something that Satan would think of. Of course, as the verse indicates, it played right into God's plan to redeem us from the curse.

Unrelated to that ...
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23)
Have you ever noticed that some of the things described as "the fruit of the Spirit" here are more often thought of as feelings than character traits? I mean, sure, "patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" are things that we can do/have as a product of the Spirit. But we don't think of "love" or "joy" or "peace" as things we can do or as character traits. I wonder if that's a mistake? I wonder if it shouldn't be that those who "walk by the Spirit" (Gal 5:25) should be characterized as people who love, who are joyous, who are at peace. I think that paints those terms in a different light. Instead of experiencing love, joy, and peace, we live them.

Just wondering.

7 comments:

David said...

An interesting idea about the cursed on the tree, but I've always had the impression that that was applied to Him later, not as an initial thought. While the cross is made of wood, it's not exactly a tree, and while He was suspended from it, He want hung in the traditional sense. I felt this was more God showing that what He means and what we understand don't always fully line up.

Craig said...

As to your first thought, it's an interesting thought and very well could be the case.

As to your second, not only should those be character traits but it seems like those are things where we sometimes need to make a conscious choice to behave in certain ways or to ignore our feelings.

Stan said...

Paul, a Pharisee of Pharisees, thought of Jesus as "hung on a tree". I would think that it was possible that the other Pharisees thought of it, too.

Stan said...

Craig, how would we choose "joy" or "peace" (as examples) over how we feel? (Not disagreeing. Hoping for more insight.)

David said...

The question is, did Paul think of that as Paul or Saul? He had intimate instruction from Jesus.

David said...

Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, he could have had the Old Testament expounded to him about their true references to the Messiah.

Craig said...

I'd suggest that it comes down to how we react to our circumstances, we can choose to focus on how to respond with joy when life is difficult (focus on God's omnipotence or omniscience and know that He's in control), or on feeling God's presence and comfort when appropriate. Those two might be a bit more abstract, but I do think that sometimes we need to choose to respond rather than follow our natural reaction.