“I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.” Leviticus 26:12
What would motivate someone like Paul to endure the hardships that he faced and keep on going? For him it was simple, the Gospel was so good that Paul felt it was worth every ounce of harassment and persecution he would face. So, what specifically was it about the Gospel that made Paul feel this way? The answer was, and is, Jesus.
In Leviticus chapter 26, the distinction between the blessing and the curse is abundantly clear. If Israel obeyed God and kept all the laws and regulations, they would be abundantly blessed. However, if they did not keep the ordinances that God had established, they would experience the curse, which would only get progressively worse. To sum it up, if man did good, then he could expect good from God, or “the blessing.” On the contrary if man did bad, he could expect bad from God, the curse.
Jesus paid the price as The Spotless Lamb, and became “a curse” for you and me, satisfying the demand of a Holy and Righteous God. Now, Jesus brought a “once and for all” reconciliation between God and man. As a result, man would no longer be bound by the dictates and demands of the law but would instead be free. Free to enjoy the “abundant life” that Jesus Himself spoke of in John 10:10, and never again having to worry about the curse.
Because of Jesus, God’s presence and blessing would never be conditional again. Today, despite our shortcomings and failures, we have nothing to dread. We have been freed from the curse of the law and can look forward to nothing but the blessing. This is why it was so worth it for Paul. This is why he devoted the rest of his life, no matter what it cost him, to spreading this Good News.
Today, rest in the truth that the presence and blessing of God is forever yours, through Jesus, and will forever be unconditional.