God Redeemsby Cynthia Jennings on December 21, 2022
When you think about the word redeem, what comes to mind? --- the idea of loosing from a bond, being set from____________, buying back something lost or sold, exchanging something in one's possession for something possessed by another.
For me two words come to mind---Jesus Christ!
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
I am grateful our God does not waste anything---the good, the bad or the ugly. Through the mystery of His loving providence, He uses the good, the bad and the ugly of our background and life experience to re-create us into His ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20).
In a world full of confusion, lawlessness, racial division, and unloving people, Jesus can redeem our pain and transform us into vessels that heal.
The Bible is a book about redemption. God wants to communicate this story to us through His Word. He does this by giving us many smaller stories that illustrate the wonderful truth of the redemption provided through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Lost Sheep (Luke 15:7): When the religious crowd of Jesus’ day complained that He was spending too much time with the sinners of society, Jesus told the redemption story of the lost sheep. A man owned one hundred sheep. But, one day while away from home, one of the sheep was lost. He secured the ninety-nine sheep and went in search of the single lost sheep. He carried the lost sheep gently back to the ninety-nine. Jesus said that the man went home and threw a feast in honor of the fact that his sheep was found—it was redeemed. Jesus’ application to the religious crowd was that lost sheep (sinners) need to be found. There is rejoicing in heaven over their salvation. The ones who are religious and see no need in repentance and salvation will not be celebrated in heaven because they have not received the redemption provided by Christ.
Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32): Jesus told this story not long after He told the story of the lost sheep. A rich man had two sons. One day the younger son went to his father and asked for his inheritance. He was leaving home. It is apparent that the boy did not have a good relationship with his father. Though his father loved him, the young man felt like he would be better off without the constraints of the family.
After a time, he ran out of money. He had spent it all on entertainment and frivolity. Because of a famine in the land, he was in an even more desperate situation. He went to work for a farmer feeding pigs. Eventually he was even eating with the pigs. The young man decided that it would be better to return to the house of his father as a servant than to starve away from home. When he neared his home, he was met by his father. The older man had been watching and waiting for his son’s return. The father gladly welcomed him home, not as a servant, but as a son—he was redeemed. A feast was made. A robe and a ring were given to the son to attest to his position in the family. Though he had gone away, his father accepted him back with no change in his status as a son.
Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-22): On the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus encountered the Lord. Saul knew very well who Jesus Christ was. But up until that time Saul did not believe that Jesus was the Redeemer promised by God. That day, on his way to capture Christians and take them to prison, Saul saw Jesus for who He really was. The man who had brought so much persecution to the early church was redeemed by the love of Christ. Saul was later known by the name Paul. The man who we call the Apostle Paul, was responsible for spreading the true Gospel of Jesus throughout the world in his time.
The lost sheep, the prodigal son and Saul of Tarsus’ change of heart led them to receive redemption.
The good news is it is not too late for God to work the same wonders through us. No matter what we have done, none of us are exempt from God’s redemption, because Jesus already paid the price.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for never wasting anything in my life. Thank You for reforming my good, destroying my bad and forgetting my ugly. Thank You for redeeming my pain and turning it into something beautiful to be used for Your Kingdom. Help me to display the fruit of the Spirit, pursue healing and reconciliation, knowing that You desire unity in the body of Christ, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
PEARLStoPONDER: Jesus has the power to soften our hearts, bringing peace and breaking down walls of hostility.
Jesus Christ redeems by his sacrificial death: Hebrews 9:12
Jesus Christ redeems by paying a ransom: Mark 10:45
Jesus Christ redeems believers so that their sins may be forgiven: Ephesians 1:7
Jesus Christ redeems believers to make them pure: Titus 2:14
Jesus Christ redeems believers so that they may receive God’s promised blessings: Galatians 5:1
Jesus Christ redeems believers so that they may receive final redemption: Romans 8:23