This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the glorious acts that God has done in my life—also throughout history. Our God is so amazing! From the breath of His mouth the universe was created, and by His foresight and knowledge the days, seasons, months, and years flow seamlessly through time. Of all the great things that the Father has done, none can compare with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the climax, the precipice, the apex of God’s plan.
There was and never has been a “plan B.” God knew that He would leave the glory of His throne one day to come and dwell in the flesh (John 1:14), and live and move among His created that He might save their souls. He knew the agony that awaited Him on the Cross, the mocking, the beatings, the betrayal He would endure at the hands of one of His most trusted allies, and the moment when the Father forsook Him and He would cry out ““Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (Mark 15:34). He knew all that…and He still came. I think of myself standing at a proverbial “crossroad” and seeing that one path would be very easy and the other would be racked with brutal pain, hardship, suffering, and despair…I would pick the easy one…the safe one. But not God. He knew there was no fork—there was no other road. It had to be this way, This was the only way to save His beloved.
So He took that path. He was betrayed. He was mocked. He was spit on, called a liar, hated and brutally murdered at the hands of the very ones He came to save. He was forsaken by God. Have you ever thought about that? That on the cross Jesus was literally “deserted and left helpless”, which is what the Greek word “egkataleipo” that is used here mans (Thayer). At that moment He became the sin of the world. Yes, that includes yours, mine, and everybody’s. He became the sin and the curse and took the punishment. Paul writes in Galatians that,
“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us-for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” (Gal. 3:10-13).
What was the curse? That the law and our works cannot EVER save us. It’s all through grace and grace alone (Eph. 2:1). Paul says that Christ redeemed us.
I don’t think we grasp “redeemed” like the first Christians would have. The biggest thing we redeem is a coupon at Kroger’s. That’s so we can get a price-cut and save ten cents. But that’ snot even close to what it means in the New Testament and in context of Christ’s redemption of His church. Vine says it means to “buy out a person”, Thayer says it like this: “by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom,” So to be redeemed is to be bought back off the slave trade or prisoner’s of war being bought back from their captives with a ransom. So what that means for us is that Jesus literally traded places with us—was traded to our slave master to get us back. That’s how we can say we are redeemed. That’s what it means. So you can see that this process never goes without a high cost. Redemption cost God more than we could ever imagine.
The Apostle Peter writes,
“Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 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, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect “ (1 Peter 1:17-19).
It didn’t’ cost God money to buy us back. That wouldn’t do the job. It cost blood. It cost a life. It cost the Son of God. Think about that this week. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought? A house? A Car? A TV? A computer? Think about the cost in comparison with losing a child. Giving them up to be sacrificed for the world. Their value pales in comparison to what the Father gave up for you and me. We’re redeemed, church. We are set free from prison, from our slave master—sin and death. We have been bought back from these. We are redeemed. Let’s live like it, church. Just something to think about. – Scott