Chrysostom on Substitutionary Atonement

John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians 3

sacrificial-lamb“In reality, the people were subject to another curse, which says,

Cursed is every one that does not continue in the things that are written in the book of the Law. (Deut. 27:26.)

To this curse, I say, people were subject, for no man had continued in, or was a keeper of, the whole Law; but Christ exchanged this curse for the other,

Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree. (Deuteronomy 21:22-23 and Galatians 3:13)

As then both he who hanged on a tree, and he who transgresses the Law, is cursed, and as it was necessary for him who is about to relieve from a curse himself to be free from it, but to receive another instead of it, therefore Christ took upon Him such another, and thereby relieved us from the curse. It was like an innocent mans undertaking to die for another sentenced to death, and so rescuing him from punishment. For Christ took upon Him not the curse of transgression, but the other curse, in order to remove that of others. For, He had done no violence neither was any deceit in His mouth. (Isa. 53:9; 1 Peter 2:22.) And as by dying He rescued from death those who were dying, so by taking upon Himself the curse, He delivered them from it.”

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