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”—Galatians 3:13
The gospel – the most loved and comforting doctrine of all – doesn’t focus on our works or the works of the law. Rather, it shows us the incomprehensible, inexpressible mercy and love of God toward us, who are unworthy and lost people. The merciful Father saw that we were oppressed by the curse of the law and held under it. On our own and through our own efforts, we never could have freed ourselves. He sent his only Son into the world. He put all the sin of all the people on his Son and said, “You will be Peter, who denied me; Paul, who persecuted, blasphemed, and acted violently; David, who committed adultery; the sinner who ate the apple in Paradise; the thief on the cross. In summary, you will be the one who committed all the sins of all the people. Make sure you pay for these sins and make atonement for them.”
At this point the law said, “I find Christ to be a sinner – the one who has taken the sins of all the people upon himself. I do not see sin on anyone else except him. Therefore, he must die on the cross.” Then the law grabbed him and killed him.
Since this happened, the entire world has been cleansed and atoned of all sin and freed from death and all evil. If everyone in the whole world believed, God would see only purity and righteousness. This is because Christ would have taken away all sin and death. And even if there were any remnants of sin remaining, God wouldn’t see them because of the brightness of Christ, the Sun.
In the late afternoon of April 18, 1521, in the city of Worms, Germany, Martin Luther, a 37 year-old Catholic monk was called to defend himself before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor. The speech he delivered that day, Here I Stand, marked the beginning of the Reformation, a critical turning point in Christian history that decisively altered the spiritual map of the world. In this recording, Max McLean introduces the events leading up to the Diet of Worms; Martin Luther’s prayer the night before he delivered his speech; Luther’s stirring defense; the Catholic church’s rebuttal; and, Luther’s final heartfelt response.