There are pictures of redemption all around us…
I watched an action movie last night where the bad guys were holding a woman captive unless the good guys gave them a certain sum of money. They were holding her as a prisoner until the “ransom” was paid for her freedom. Her redemption was based on someone else’s sacrifice, there was nothing for her to do but to walk out the door once the money was delivered and the door was unlocked.
In the same way, we are all slaves to sin, but Jesus has paid our ransom (Mark 10:45) and we are offered freedom. Many people have heard about the ransom being paid (Jesus dying on the cross), but don’t really believe it was enough payment for freedom, so they stay enslaved. Others don’t believe they are slaves at all and have become so used to life as it is now that the idea of walking free is too scary for them to embrace – so they stay put.
John 8:36 says, “If the Son sets you free – you will be free indeed.” Redemption has a past reality seen in God’s plan before the creation of the world to choose and love us, and the coming of Jesus to earth, and his death as a substitute for us. Last Sunday I emphasized the grace that is lavished upon us by God and the ongoing forgiveness that He offers to us as redemption has a current reality for us as well.
Redemption has a number of incredible layers, so I wanted to mention a few more as we stand in awe of the blessings that God has given to us (Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, Eph. 1:3).
Situation Interpretation Reference
Slave Market World System 1 John 5:19
Slave Master Satan John 12:31
Slaves Humanity Ephesians 2:2-3
The Problem Sin Colossians 2:14
Highest Bidder Jesus Christ Hebrews 2:14-15
Ransom Price Blood of Christ 1 Peter 1:18-19
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell, Editor, (Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton , IL; 1984), p. 354
The word for Redemption was also used in referring to the release of prisoners of war. This concept is also seen in a situation where someone has committed a crime and will be punished by losing their life. In Exodus 20:28-30 the relatives of the guilty party can pay a ransom and redeem that person – to have them forgiven, released and set free.
As we celebrate this part of God’s goodness toward us, our praise is just a rehearsal for the songs we will sing about this around the throne of Jesus (called the Lamb of God) in Heaven someday.
Revelation 5:9 (NLT) 9 And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.