Did Christ die in vain? (Gal. 2:21)

“I do not nullify

The grace of God.

If justification

Comes through the law,

Then Christ died

For nothing.”

Οὐκ ἀθετῶ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ· εἰ γὰρ διὰ νόμου δικαιοσύνη, ἄρα Χριστὸς δωρεὰν ἀπέθανεν.

Paul said, “I do not nullify or set aside (Οὐκ ἀθετῶ) the grace of God (τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  If justification or righteousness (δικαιοσύνη) comes through the law (εἰ γὰρ διὰ νόμου), then Christ died for nothing (ἄρα Χριστὸς δωρεὰν ἀπέθανεν).”  Paul was rejecting or doing away with the Jewish Torah, what was considered the law of God.  He then explained that he was not setting aside the grace of God.  The law could not forgive sins or triumph over death.  Jesus Christ, however, could and did.  If righteousness and justification came through the Mosaic law in the Torah then Christ had died for no reason.  His death was without a purpose.  On the other hand, Christ died on the cross to accomplish what the Jewish law could not, righteousness and justification for all.  What was the purpose of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?