“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight,” – Ephesians 1:7-8 (ESV).
According to Webster, redemption means the act of making something better or more acceptable, the act of exchanging something for money, the act of buying back or repurchasing, or in Christianity, the act of saving people from sin.
One of Jesus’ purposes in descending to earth was to redeem people for Himself. This redemption is an amazing revelation of God’s grace toward every one of us.“For you know that 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 Peter 1:18-19 NIV).
Redemption is the act of gaining possession of something in exchange for payment of a debt. Jesus, God the Son, suffered the penalty for the sins of all mankind on the cross so that those who believe in Him would be saved. This is the gospel in its simplicity: Jesus takes everything that I am, just as I am, while I receive everything that He is. Jesus’ death in exchange for my life. Jesus took our sins on Himself at the cross; all sins – past, present, and future. When we are saved, God only sees the righteousness of Jesus in us.
Jesus is doing the true work of redeeming every believer every day. It isn’t a one-time occurrence but rather something ongoing, as we fail and fail and fail again. Each time we fall into sin, turning away from living as we should, the Lord’s redeeming love is there, ready to forgive us once again. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.”
Jesus’ redemption, along with our faith in Him, is a gift of God. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s righteousness or forgiveness. Our salvation is not tied to our behavior, attitude, or compliance with religious rules or traditions. We surrender ourselves to Jesus just as we are and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from the inside out.
It is through the saving love and death of Jesus Christ that we are redeemed. He has bought us back, repurchased us, and exchanged our sins for eternal salvation. He is making us better through His love. He has redeemed us according to all the definitions of the word.
- What is so amazing to you about redemption?
- How do we experience redemption in our daily lives?
- How does the “redemption” story help you understand the meaning of the cross?