The Bible says, God is redeemer. “I am the LORD your Saviour, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (Isa 49:26). “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25). “He will come to Zion as Redeemer” (Isaiah 59:20). “You, O LORD, are our father; our Redeemer” (Isaiah 63:16).
The Bible also says, Christ is redeemer. “God is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Co 1:30). “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14).
What is redemption
I have been preaching on the eleven Christian doctrines, which C. S. Lewis found “common to nearly all Christians at all times.” Today I am going to talk about “Jesus, the Redeemer.”
Now our question is: what is redeem? Let us look up English Dictionary. Oxford English Dictionary explains the origin of the word: From Old French redimer or Latin redimere (from re- ‘back’ + emere ‘buy’) So, primarily it means re-buy, but there are different connotations depending on the context.
Firstly, it means “compensate for the faults or bad aspects of someone,” “atone or make amends for (sin, error, or evil)” or “save someone from sin, error, or evil.” So, as we say “Jesus is the Redeemer,” it means that: Our sins are washed away not with the blood of goats and calves, but with the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 9:12). Our sins are forgiven by the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7). And “we are saved through faith, not by our work, but by grace, which is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).
Secondly, it means “gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment,” “pay the necessary money to clear (a debt),” or “free (oneself or another) from slavery or captivity by paying a ransom.” I hope not you may be involved in any mortgage issue with the bank. When you are unable to redeem your mortgage on your house, you will eventually lose your house. The bank approaches you very friendly, But, when things go wrong, they are not so kind to you.
Likewise, when we are unable to save ourselves from slavery to sin (Romans 6:20), God paid the ransom Himself to receive us back to Himself. Mark 10:45 says, “Jesus came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 1 Corinthians 7:23 reads, “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” So, we are all bought at a price. We are not to slaves of the worldly greed anymore, but slaves of righteousness who are called to fulfil God’s will.
Thirdly, it means, “fulfil or carry out (a pledge or promise).” In the Old Testament there are full of prophecies about the coming of Messiah. And when the time came, Jesus was born as the Messiah, Anointed One, to save the world. The promises were fulfilled, which means, the promises are redeemed. Here are some of the Old Testament prophecies which are redeemed.
David’s offspring will have an eternal kingdom: “When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12–13). So, Jesus was called “Son of David.” All the worldly kingdoms and nations arose and perished, but the Kingdom of God established in Christ lasts forever. We are the citizen of the Kingdom, where we will share the life of love together forever.
A virgin will give birth, and he will be called Immanuel: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). We know the Christmas story which is about the fulfilment of God’s promise.
Christ will set the captives free: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1).
These are things that happen when Christ comes. That happened two thousand years ago, when Christ came. And when Christ comes into our hearts, things continues to happen. Our broken-hearts are bound up, our minds, captivated in greed, are liberated, and our thoughts, sitting in darkness, find the light of truth.
Let me summarize what we have talked about: When we say, “Jesus is the Redeemer”: Firstly, we confess that we are forgiven because our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus. Secondly, we are saved from slavery to sin. It is grace because God paid the ransom to receive us back to Himself. The ransom was the life of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Thirdly, the coming of the Messiah was foretold long before Jesus was born. Those promises were fulfilled, and by His grace we are saved and have become the children of God. We are blessed to join Him in His Kingdom that lasts forever.
Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters; not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.” (1 Corinthians 1:26)
The words are for us. Not many of us are wise by human standards. Not many are powerful. Not many are of noble birth.
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)
Isn’t it true for us? Haven’t we witnessed it? Hasn’t God chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise? Hasn’t God chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong? Hasn’t God chosen what is low and despised in the world, to do great things? So, we give thanks to God and praise His gracious name.
“He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)
We confess that God is the source of our life in Christ Jesus, Jesus is the Redeemer, who became for us wisdom. Thanks to Him, we live a life of righteousness and sanctification. So, we do not boast ourselves in the presence, but only in our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins so that we may find eternal life in Him.
Therefore, as Paul says in Galatians 4:1-7, “My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.”
So, we are no longer the slaves of the worldly power and greed, but the children of God and the heirs of the father. We will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven which will last forever. Are you wondering what the Kingdom of Heaven is like? It is beyond our description, so no one is able to describe it as it is. Only we have some images of the Kingdom, written in the Book of Revelation:
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there anymore. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:1-6)
Isn’t it wonderful? Aren’t we looking forward to the day when we get there? I am. It is all thanks to Jesus, the Redeemer.
Let us pray: Christ Jesus, we confess that we are weak, but we are glad to hear that we are redeemed by your mercy and grace. So, we are strong in You. We confess that we are sinners, but we are glad to hear that our sins are washed away by your blood. So, we find ourselves righteous in You. Now we are not slaves of the worldly power and greed anymore, but we are the citizens of Your Kingdom that lasts forever. We are your disciples who are called to serve you and serve others for the sake of Your Kingdom and Your name. Amen.