Thus Paul treats this topic in a truly apostolic way, because no sophist or legalist or Jew or fanatic or anyone else speaks this way. Who would dare quote this passage from Moses, “Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,” and apply it to Christ Himself? By the same principle by which Paul applied this sentence, “Cursed be everyone, etc.,” to Christ, we can apply not only all of Deut. 27 but all collected curses of the Mosaic Law to Christ. For just as Christ for His own Person is innocent of this general Law, so He is of all others. And just as for us He violated this general Law and was hanged on the tree as a criminal, a blasphemer, a parricide, and a traitor, so He violated all other laws as well. For all the curses of the Law were gathered together in Him, and therefore He bore and sustained them in His own body for us. Consequently, He was not only accursed; but He became a curse for us. This is really the apostolic way to interpret the Scriptures. For without the Holy Spirit a man cannot speak this way; that is, he cannot include the entire Law in one word and gather it all at once in Christ, and, on the other hand, include all the promises of Scripture and say that these are fulfilled in Christ once and for all. Therefore this argument is apostolic and very powerful, based as it is, not on one passage in the Law but on all the laws; and Paul relies heavily on it.
Martin Luther | Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 26 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 289.
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