Reading today from Deuteronomy 20 – 22.
The people of the day in which we live often think of hanging as a rope around the neck. That is my thinking as well, however, I do know that Scripture speaks of hanging on a tree in a much different light.
We are told in the following verses of hanging,
“And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” Deuteronomy 21:22-23 (KJV)
As I read these verses the first thought I had was of the death of Jesus Christ.
In this Old Testament law when a man was judged worthy of death by hanging on a tree it was because of some grievous sin he had committed against God and man. If he were hanged he was “accursed of God”.
Jesus Christ had done no evil to GOD or man. His life was without sin. He had no blemish or mark on His life, yet He was found guilty by guilty men who were jealous of His power, and influence with people; and there were many who called out for Him
The text above says, “If a man have committed a sin worthy of death…” All those who accused Jesus, plucking the hair from His face, beating His face, whipping His back and finding Him “guilty” of blasphemy were the ones guilty of sin against GOD and man. They were the ones worthy of death and hanging on a tree.
The Accused never spoke a word for His defense. Heaven never said a word for His defense. However, when He died the earth groaned and shook with great intensity. While He was hanging there all the earth turned black as dark night in the middle of the day.
What do other Scriptures say?
“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53:4-10
“The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” John 19:31-37
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree’: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galations 3:13
The salvation provided to us by God is truly gracious. We can do nothing to earn God’s favor. He has done it all; even to the point of having Jesus His holy and righteous Son become our curse; that He might redeem us from the curse of sin.
Believe God today, and be saved.
Please read Deuteronomy 20 – 22.
-Tim A. Blankenship