“There is a redeemer
Jesus, God’s own Son
Precious, Lamb of God, Messiah
How often do you sing those words, or words like them?
We sing praises to God our Redeemer, but what do we really mean?
Recently I’ve been reflecting a lot on what redemption means, what it means to live a life of the redeemed. I’ve being wondering if, as we live the life of the redeemed under Christ, our past and memories can also be redeemed?
Redemption is a theme which runs throughout the Bible. God calls Himself our Redeemer over two dozen times. The vocabulary of redemption appears around 150 times throughout the whole Bible.
In the Old Testament, redemption seems to have three distinct parts. First the circumstance from which someone needs redemption, secondly the payment of the price of redemption and thirdly a human intermediary acting to secure the redemption.(1) In the New Testament we see that Jesus acting both as payment and intermediary.
Jesus is our redemption.
He is both the instrument and the musician of redemption.
The melody of redemption is heard in His ultimate sacrifice – He died for us when we were still sinners – paid the price for our sin with His life.
It blows me away.
Psalm 103:1-5 says this:
“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
God doesn’t just give us back what we lost – he gives us more than we could ever have imagined. When we think all is lost, He is waiting to give us more than we could ever find. He doesn’t just lift us out of the pit – he crowns us. Crowns us with His love and His compassion.
So often in my life I have grieved hopelessly over what has been lost. I have felt lost in the pain of what has gone.
It’s all too easy to forget how much God has already redeemed for us, and yet He has redeemed our very lives so that we may one day be able to see Him face-to-face.
Every stuff-up, every bad day, every painful memory, every heartbreak is redeemed by God through His Son. Which means that so much has already been redeemed. And there is so much more to come.
It doesn’t mean we don’t have to face the pain, but it does mean that He has something far greater, far more beautiful in store for us.
How can we fail to praise a redeemer who makes the putrid, pure and the ruined, rescued?
(1) Ryken, L et al., Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, “Redeem/Redemption”, Leicester: IVP, 1998.
*I have relied heavily on the above for the theological/fact bits of this post. Credit where credit’s due!