Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”Titus 2:14
These words relay one of the most amazing facts ever to be made known. This redemption through Jesus is greater than the freedom given to a slave through the generosity of his master. It is greater than the cancellation of the enormous debt that the servant owed, of whom we read in Matthew 18. Even the saving of Lot’s life because of Abraham’s intercession is not to be compared with the redemption that Jesus has given us. The ransom for our freedom, so that we are no longer slaves of Satan, has been paid. Yet, the cost was overwhelmingly high.
Years ago, some children had a little white lamb as a pet. They loved the little animal. However, it was stolen and sold to a butcher. When the children discovered this, they went and tried to get their lamb back and save it from being killed. They were unable to convince the butcher to be compassionate. Someone interceded, paid the butcher for the lamb, and returned it to the children. The lamb was helpless, and the children were unable to save it. Somebody interceded. In the same way, we could do nothing to redeem ourselves from spiritual death, nor could anyone else help us, except Jesus. Christ alone was able to redeem us.
The Bible tells us we were all sold as slaves of sin. But Jesus came to ransom us. He paid the price with His own blood. Peter writes, “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold…but by the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19a). What a price! But there was no other way possible because “without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). The blood sacrifices in the Old Testament were symbolic of what was to be done through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. All the blood sacrificed in the Old Testament could not remit and obliterate sin. Only the blood of Christ can do that. The Old Testament sacrifices were only “a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:3-4). That is why Christ needed to shed His blood.
Everyone needs a Savior because all have sinned. The consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve into sin is suffering. Nobody can save themselves. Here we see the tremendous difference between Christianity and other religions. A young Brahman told a missionary that he finds much of Christianity in his own religion, except one thing. “What is that one thing?” asked the missionary. The Brahman answered: “A Savior.” This man had great insight in recognizing the significance of this missing piece.
There are many other things that differentiate Christianity from other religions, yet without Christ, there is no Christianity. A Christianity that does not value the redemption of Christ through His blood denies the Savior. How can such a Christianity be better than other religions?
According to the Bible, redemption is not just a ransom and a paying of our debt. Otherwise, all people would be redeemed, even without their own consent. Christ does offer redemption to all, but since humans are moral beings with a free will, they must willingly give themselves to God. Whoever comes to God in repentance will be redeemed.
Romans 8:23 speaks of “eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” The redemption of the body itself will take place when Christ returns, and “this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53). Although the redemption of the body will not be total until the resurrection, we are already now redeemed. Those who are redeemed have redemption privileges. In God’s plan, healing for the body (Isaiah 53:5), freedom from sin, (Matthew 1:21) and peace with God (Romans 5:1) are included. We have the privilege of having the image of God restored in us. The hope of eternal life and the future anticipation of the glory of heaven are also ours. What an amazing plan of redemption! It is all ours through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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