In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them,
And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.
But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; (Isaiah 63:9b-10a)
Redemption frees us from a burden. God’s redemption of us frees us from the burden of sin, which holds us back from living a full life of freedom in God’s love and grace. I think in the Christian community, we can get so accustomed to the word “redeemed” that we miss out on the impact of its meaning.
When something (or someone) is redeemed, it is bought back. It’s covered, paid. If you owe money at the bank, it’s not just having the bank forgive the loan, telling you that you no longer have to pay. Redemption is someone coming in and paying your loan for you. Their money, their sacrifice, their giving. All for you.
Imagine standing in a pit with no way out. It’s not possible to get out by yourself. Redemption isn’t someone coming along and throwing you a rope. Redemption is someone jumping into the pit with you, letting you stand on his shoulders to provide a way for you to get out, then staying in the pit for you. His life, his sacrifice.
Redemption is Jesus taking on your sin…all that wrongdoing that you have no way of getting rid of. It’s yours. Whether it puts you in debt or puts you in a pit, you’re in a place you cannot get out of on your own. Jesus didn’t just look at the situation and deal with the surface issues; he saw through to the root issue that got you into the position you were in: sin. And He took it on. He had no sin—none, zilch, nada—yet He said, “Your sin? It’s mine now.” And He sacrificed it by sacrificing Himself. It was the only way, because once He (who had no sin) took on sin, the only way to redeem it was to sacrifice it.
He didn’t stop there. If He had, sin would have been dead but not redeemed. He’d be in the pit still. The debt would just be transferred. But because He could overcome death, His resurrection overcame sin. It made redemption final. We hand over the sin, and He says, “Done deal. Taken care of. Live on.”
And He did it all because of God’s love. That’s how powerful, how complete God’s love is.
Do you live redeemed? I don’t mean have you accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for you and do you have a relationship with Him as your Lord and Savior. I mean, do you live in the reality that you are redeemed? That you’re no longer in the pit. That if you do something that puts you in debt, you can instantly call on Jesus and trust His redemption.
Oh, there are certainly still consequences to sin. Jesus isn’t the get-out-of-all-jams-free card. If you mess up, you’re going to deal with the results…sort of. You don’t do it alone. Jesus deals with the consequences with you. He doesn’t love you in limited doses. He doesn’t redeemed you in a moment and abandon you the next. He’s in it for the long haul, meaning…eternity. That’s quite a commitment! And it all begins right now.
Dear God, I want to live a redeemed life. Sometimes my head says one thing but I live out something else. I don’t want to just know that I can be redeemed. I want to live redeemed. I want to live in freedom—freedom that invites an obedient, trusting dependency on You. Freedom that shows in my life, so when I struggle, I rely on and praise You, and when I rejoice, I give you the glory and praise You. No more pit-dwelling for me. When I take my eyes off You and start inching my way toward a pit, tell me. I commit to listening.