Galatians was the Apostle Paul’s letter to a group of churches in Asia Minor. These churches were composed of Christians who were originally heathen or converted Jews. Some of these believers had the correct understanding of the efficacy of Jesus’ sacrifice to cover our sins, but were now being told that in order to find acceptance by God they were required to keep the Law of Moses and observe its ritual of circumcision. Paul’s letter was written to address this error.

When Paul gets to Galatians 2:21 he is concluding his argument that what the Law held out to Jews was justification in God’s sight, and therefore a right to everlasting life, but it could not be attained because none were perfect, and anything short of that was unacceptable to God.

Paul concludes by saying that he does not disesteem or reject the grace of God in giving the Law to the nation of Israel. It was a benefit in many ways. But he concludes that if righteousness could be attained by keeping the Law, then there was no need for Jesus to die.

Galatians 3:13 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:

When Adam sinned, God’s sentence was pronounced against him, and the curse of death was carried out upon him 930 years later. It continues upon his posterity to this day. But the curse referred to by Paul here is an additional curse upon the nation of Israel as a result of their failure to live up to the Law Covenant that had entered into with God at Sinai. In order to redeem the Jews it was necessary for Jesus to die by crucifixion (hanging on a tree and thus bearing the curse) to take the place of those who publicly proclaimed that they would keep God’s law and thereby to lift the curse of the Law upon them.