Short Meds in ‘Living the Life’: 20. Being Redeemed?
Gal 3:13,14 “Christ REDEEMED us.”
We continue to ponder on the ongoing nature of so many aspects of the Christian faith, of the life we are called to live. We used the lifeboat illustration to see the three phases of this. We come now to consider this concept of having been redeemed by Christ.
This word only occurs about eight times in the New Testament but 99 times in the Old. The concept was one of buying back something that had been sold or lost.
Job in the middle of his dark experience hit rock bottom but declared, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.” (Job 19:25) What an amazing confession of faith, that he believed in one who somehow, someday, would rescue him from this pit of hopelessness. The book of Ruth has a lot about the concept of a kinsman-redeemer, someone who would come to the aid of a widow and rescue her from a life of loneliness and poverty.
In both instances there is the picture of being rescued from one place and taken to another, from a place of need and anguish to a place of blessing. The apostle Paul wrote, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins,” (Col 1:13,14) a transference from darkness to light, from wrath to forgiveness.
The reference to forgiveness of sins reminds us that before we came to Christ we were guilty sinners lined up for the court of the Final Judgement, doomed to be condemned and sentenced to destruction, but Christ stepped in and, as we turned to God in surrender, spoke up: “I have died for them. My death was their punishment, the price for their release has been paid. They are free to be transferred from death and destruction to eternal life and blessing.”
The reality of this wonderful truth comes through in everyday life when we are attacked by the enemy. Satan stands in the throne room of heaven (see Job 1 & 2) and, pointing at you, challenges and says, “Why shouldn’t they die for what they have done, they deserve that punishment?” This accuser (Rev 12:10) has that right. And Jesus simply smiles and says, “Yes, but I have taken their punishment and that’s why they have been able to ‘jump ship’ so I am taking them to land.” Yes, it’s true, “we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One,” (1 Jn 2:1) and that’s why we can be in the lifeboat today. So when the enemy whispers to you, “You’re not worthy of this!” whisper back, “No but he is!” (Rev 5:9,12) and then Google or look on YouTube for that song “Is he worthy?” and worship. “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Rev 4:9) “it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Pet 1:18,19) You could claim that the moment you turned to Christ but you need to remind yourself that because it is true, it is being worked out every day of your life and will be the sole reason you will be welcomed into heaven when you pass on from this life. Be secure in that and daily, praise and thank him for it.