Devotionals Daily: A Year with Jesus

From A Charles Dickens Devotional

Redemption

            “This court,” said Scrooge, “. . . is where my place of occupation is, and has been for a length of time. I see the house. Let me behold what I shall be, in days to come!”

            The Spirit stopped; the hand was pointed elsewhere.

            “The house is yonder,” Scrooge exclaimed. “Why do you point away?”

            The inexorable finger underwent no change.

            Scrooge hastened to the window of his office, and looked in. It was an office still, but not his. The furniture was not the same, and the figure in the chair was not himself. The Phantom pointed as before. He . . . accompanied it until they reached an iron gate. He paused to look round before entering.

            A churchyard. Here, then; the wretched man whose name he had now to learn, lay underneath the ground. . . .

            The Spirit stood among the graves, and pointed down to One. He advanced towards it trembling. The Phantom was exactly as it had been, but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape.

            “Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,” said Scrooge, “answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”

            Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood.

            “Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus.”

—A Christmas Carol

            A Christmas Carol is the best known and the most read of Dickens’s novels. Its main character, the callous and unsympathetic Ebenezer Scrooge, is often used as a model of human redemption. The message of A Christmas Carol is straightforward—even pitiless men, like Scrooge, can be redeemed if they faithfully accept goodness into their hearts.

            Goodness comes to us through the person of Jesus Christ. Second Corinthians 5:17 promises, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” It is Christ in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14). Everyone who puts their hopes in Him is made pure, just as Jesus is pure (1 John 3:3).

            Scrooge suspected that he could change the course of his future by changing the ways he thought and lived. He understood that how we choose to live leads to particular endings, and his ending led anywhere but to heaven. Redemption means being saved from an unsavory end by the grace of God. Jesus paid the price for our sins. Through Him—and Him alone—we are redeemed. All He asks in return is that we believe and obey.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

—John 3:16

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