I received the following question:

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:3)

If “under the law” means that one was guilty of breaking the law, then how would Christ be “under the law?”  We looked up “under” and found that it was hupo, which is the Greek word for under.  Can you help clarify this verse?

Every Israelite, by reason of birth, came under the curse of a broken covenant. Their fathers had broken the covenant with God when they worshipped the golden calf, and from that point on, everyone born as a “son” of Israel was born under the penalty of that broken law. The law that had originally been given as a blessing to them was now, “because of transgressions,” (Galatians 3:19) added to them as a burden to bear. Christ was born under that burden, just as much as any other Israelite was. Though He was not a lawbreaker Himself, He was born into that situation that every Israelite had been in since the golden calf. He was made subject to the law that had been laid upon the people of Israel because of their broken covenant with God. Yet Christ, even though He was born under that law, was able at last to deal with the sin of the broken covenant by His death on the cross, and thus to redeem all Israel out from under the burden of the law. Now, once again, they were free to come into God’s blessing, this time through a new covenant.

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