“I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross…and I’m forever grateful.” Michael Smith Lyrics
Listen here: https://youtu.be/6aEhXBEUnZU
When I first started studying the Hebrew sacrificial system I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the amount of blood required and the time-consuming rituals required to remediate the penalty of sin. Even more amazing to me was the rejection of the Lamb of God by the Jewish religious leaders. One would think that if the Lord’s plan were to do away with all the animal sacrifices by the once–and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus, the Spotless Lamb of God, the latter would win hands down. Religion dies hard. But The Father never gives up. Redemption has always been the plan.
I started this series of posts, in Part I, with the definition of “redemption.”
1. The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil
“God’s plans for the redemption of his world.” Synonyms: saving, freeing from sin, absolution. “God’s redemption of his people.”
2. The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment or clearing a debt. Synonyms: retrieval, recovery, reclamation, repossession, return
The Lord’s plan from the foundation of the world was to redeem that which is rightfully His from the power of the enemy. (Rev. 13:8, I Peter 1:20) This redemption required the remediation of sin. And we know from the scriptures that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. (Hebrews 9:22) But, whose blood? Under the Old Covenant it was the blood of animals. The life-blood of created beings. Under the New Covenant it is the life-blood of the Creator himself.
Under the Old Testament, the blood “covered” sin for a period of time. Under the New Testament, the Blood, destroys sin forever. It is the Blood of Jesus Christ the spotless, sinless Lamb of God that accomplishes for mankind what we cannot do for ourselves: it purchases redemption.
Ephesians 1:7 puts it this way: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”
The Father, freely gives to all human kind the way to reconciliation. It is His plan, not ours, His provision, not the path of works or religious rites. His Blood that calls out for forgiveness speaks so much louder that the blood of Able that cries out for vengeance. This Blood is a grace gift and a grace enabler; meaning, He gives it to us freely and it releases in us the evidence of salvation. According to Strong’s Concordance, grace is the saving power of God in our hearts that is reflected in changed and victorious lives. Grace not only covers, it also empowers so that we are no longer slaves to sin. We are enabled to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Good News!! He has redeemed us from the curse of sin!
Please consider Titus 2:14: “…who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Is it not interesting that this scripture declares redemption as a means by which we are to be purified as His possession unto a prescribed result: good deeds. As redeemed people of the Living God, we are to have purpose. No longer are we to pursue our own passions, but the passion of the Lord. No longer living out of “lawless deeds,” but deeds that bring honor and glory to our Father, deeds that rightly represent Him to a lost and dying world. “Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it,” as the old hymn declares. It is our privilege and our responsibility.
Watching the National Prayer Breakfast after November’s Presidential election was truly a thrilling moment. The speakers were anointed and the music inspirational. However, for me, the highlight was not just the words of our 45th President, but the address given by Senate Chaplin, Barry C. Black. By his own testimony, he rose from extremely humbling circumstances to excel in academia as well as the military. He explained with passion the saving power of the blood of Jesus Christ. Unashamedly, he declared to the world the power of redemption through the Cross of Calvary, as the only way to be reconciled with the Father.
I vividly recall him recounting the struggles he had with self-worth. Raised in the housing projects, one of eight children, he often felt lost and overlooked until as a child he came across I Peter: 18-19.
His mother had set up a system by which the children earned nickels and dimes for memorizing bible verses. He said he knew every “short” verse available. But, when he came across I Peter: 18-19 something grabbed his eight-year-old heart:
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
He somehow knew that the value of the object is reflected in the price someone is willing to pay for it. A light came on in his heart and he realized how precious he was to the Father who was willing to redeem (buy back) him with the very lifeblood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He never struggled with worthlessness from that moment on.
It is the Blood of the Spotless Lamb of God that has redeemed us to the Father, opened the gates of heaven and empowered us to walk in overcoming faith by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are redeemed! As we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, may we all rejoice in the great sacrifice that was made by the Father. May we dedicate our lives a fresh and anew to rightly representing Him to a lost and fallen world. May our own redemption resound with notes of righteous resonation: Redeemed how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb…Redeemed by His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am! Amen!