God redeems

lake-tekapo-51736_640Psalm 49:15: But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

It is in God’s mind to redeem. It is not over until God finishes his remedial work, with Jesus at the centre of the plan.

Man was broken, his relationship with God was broken, and God is the master fixer, He set out to do something about it. It doesn’t matter how far gone into the wrong, things are. There is nothing impossible with God.

In the deep darkness in which Christ is, he shines his light (Matthew 4:16). In the pit, he goes to hell to get us; locked up in spiritual chains and prison houses (Isaiah 42:22), Jesus comes with the key of David (Revelation 3:7); lost, Jesus comes as shepherd (Luke 15:4-7); sick, he becomes the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings (Malachi 4:2-3); in bondage to sin, he comes to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). God redeems. That is his name, redeemer; that is his forte, He is Lord. He is good at it. That is his way. There is nothing too far gone into rot that cannot be restored by his unquantifiable grace and power.

In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the love of the father reached for the far gone. The son in an apparent rejection of the father, he abandoned him and moved several kilometres away into another land. He removed himself socially, physically and psychologically from the father, falling off the social ladder into an ignoble place, but the redeeming love of the father, it reached out to him.

The thought of his father made him come back to his senses. He remembered how much, mere servants in the father’s house, swim in his love, acceptance and privileges, how far better the lot of those servant, in enjoying the love of the father than him a rightful son who is messed up and worse off in the hostility he was surrounded by in the foreign land.

His memory of the father’s love and power and prestige, drew him back. He thought he was not worthy to go back to his old position of being son, and decided on a plan negotiate a servant position, all humbled by his suffering. He got something better than that, he was back to the embrace of the father, back to his house, into his care, fold, his place, in restored relationship, restored position. That was the redeeming God, who redeems because of his compelling love. The father’s loves redeems, the father’s forgiveness redeems. He experienced loss when his son left him, and waits for the times he will come back. The father of the prodigal son disregarded his sin. He only said that my son who was dead has come back to life. He rejoiced, giving the son a new start, not showing displeasure at the boy’s past and he was immediately back to his position of authority. That is the extent of the father’s redeeming love.

The son for some time probably thought he was so far gone from the father and that there is no way he can go back. He had the fear of being chased away from the father, and his pride, did not allow him to go back soon enough. He did not want to be humiliated.

He probably thought he would suffer from the Father’s anger, who he thought would kick him off. He had chosen to depart from the father’s house with the inheritance meant for him (meaning that he died to the father and the father to him). He thought his decision to depart was the final nail on his coffin. But God in his love said concerning his relationship with the nation of Israel, that he was going to bring his people even from the grave and empower them with His Spirit (Ezekiel 37:12-14).

Jesus Christ said: if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me (John 12:32). He was lifted up on the cross, as a symbol of the love of God reaching out to all men. Paul said that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself not counting our sins against us (1Corinthians 5:17-21).

The bible says that it was because of the love of God that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). The redeeming act was based on his love. Men are drawn to God through that compelling love manifested in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, drawn into the warmth of his love.

Redemption is the process of divine change. It is a process whereby our state is changed from being candidates of hell to being candidates of heaven.  Redemption costs us nothing but it costs God everything, so much that Paul said: if that God who did not withhold his own from us, how much more will he together with him give us all things (Romans 8:32). There is nothing more God can give than himself in his son, in the sacrifice of his son to take away the sin of the world.

When John the Baptist introduced to Jesus, he said: this is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). The sins of the world are finite; and the one (Jesus) made to carry the sin is eternal. That specially qualifies Jesus to be the sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world.

When a jailer asked Paul and Silas for what he will do to be saved, they answered: believe in Jesus Christ and you and your household will be saved (Acts 16:30-31). There is no salvation in any other, and there is no other name given under heaven by which we may be saved expect the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).

When Peter and John healed the Lame man at the beautiful gate, they explained that the name of Jesus through faith in his name had granted the man perfect wholeness (Acts 3:1-16).

In a way the man was redeemed/rescued from lifetime of lameness. Without intervention through the name of Jesus, the man’s case was hopeless; there was no help for him in any other way. He had resigned to his fate. He has stopped wishing to live a normal life, climb up the social ladder; he could be classified as the scum of the earth. But he experienced an encounter with the name of Jesus and was redeemed, saved from sickness.

The book of psalm says that God sent his word (Jesus is the word [John 1:1]) to heal us and to deliver us from our destruction (Psalm 107:20). Man was definite ending for destruction, by our own making. Because they chose the devil’s option, it was as if humanity ran of options, which his case was beyond repair. But we have another option in Christ Jesus. We have a lifeline; we have the way back to God, back to where we fell from.

Jesus the way, the truth and the life came to our rescue (John 14:6). He is the way and we are no longer lost when we receive him; he is the truth and we are set free by knowing him (John 8:32), set free from the clutches of the lies of the devil, from the hold of the father of lies (John 8:44). He is the life and we now have eternal life (John 3:16). In the patched land of the world, we can drink of the water of life from him (John 4:1-44). In Christ the Holy Spirit was restored in us, and humanity gets a second chance to say no to the devil (Genesis 3) and walk with God.

 

 

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