We’ve been ransomed by Jesus! That’s the real meaning of redemption.
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds [literally, “redeemed”]. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. Ephesians 1:7-9 (The Message), brackets added
Sometimes life gets messy and things just go wrong. What would you do if you were in desperate trouble and couldn’t fix it? Where would you turn for help? Would somebody be there for you?
The Ephesians knew about that sort of thing. Life was harsh for them. If things went wrong enough, after an Ephesian had sold everything he owned, he might have to sell himself… as a slave. He could end up in the same situation if he’d been kidnapped or captured as a prisoner of war. That’s when he needed redemption, which meant that a powerful relative paid his ransom. It was certainly an act of love; the price could be pretty high.
In many ways, we’re pretty lucky now. Bankruptcy sounds a lot easier by comparison! But Jesus opened it up when He said that everyone who sins is a slave… to sin. In other words, in our true, inner life, we were chained and bound, and powerless to do anything about it. That’s why Jesus did what we could never do. He was God, but He laid aside His glory and came to earth in a human body. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross for us. We were all captives, but Jesus purchased our freedom—He ransomed or redeemed us. He redeemed us from bondage to our sins, from the curse of the Law, and from our old selves.
That, my friend, is the meaning of redemption. We never need to doubt how much God loves us. He risked everything He owned to buy us back. Now, we don’t live in His household like beggarly relations, washing the dishes and sweeping the floor, staying in the background at parties because we don’t really belong. Instead, He joyfully made us His brothers and sisters, beloved sons and daughters in His Father’s household. We are completely redeemed!
(Also see: John 8:33-36, Romans 3:23-24, Hebrews 9:13-17)
Lord, thank You for redeeming me! I don’t want to live like I’m a beggar or a slave. Teach me how to live, from this day forward, like I’m your beloved son or daughter.