From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Twenty-Five, Day One
Without a Redeemer willing and able to pay the high price necessary to liberate us from the power of sin, the story of our lives in this world would be nothing but a story of hopelessness. But because of Christ's redemptive love, we look forward with hope to a day when the world itself will be completely liberated from the power of sin and death.
Until then we can express our faith in Christ by echoing the words of Scripture: "I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And . . . in my flesh I will see God" (Job 19:25 - 26).
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45
His Name Revealed
No one can redeem the life of another
or give to God a sufficient ransom —
the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough —
so that someone should live on forever
and not see decay.
Psalm 49:7 - 9
Jesus called them together and said . . . "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:42, 45
You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God members of every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9
Lord, you paid for me with the most valuable currency of all. May the investment you have made appreciate to your glory. Help me to live in a way that expresses your redeeming love so that many others may know you as their Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
Understanding the Name
Redemption involves winning back, buying back, or repurchasing something that belongs to you or to someone else. The most dramatic example of this in the Old Testament was the exodus of God's people from Egypt. The former slaves praised Yahweh for acting as their Redeemer (Exodus 15:13). Subsequently, the prophets often linked redemption with freedom from political oppression.
But redemption came into play within Israel itself because firstborn males, slaves, and lands, as well as people, objects, and animals consecrated to God, all had to be redeemed by means of some kind of payment. In certain instances, such as when land had been sold to pay a debt (Leviticus 25:25 - 28) or a person had sold himself into slavery, the person's closest relative, called the "kinsman redeemer," had the right to step in and pay off the debt so the land could be returned or
the person could be freed. God is often called "Redeemer" (Ga'al; ga-AL) in the Old Testament.
Though the New Testament never directly refers to Jesus as the Redeemer, it makes it clear that he offered himself as a ransom or as redemption (Lytron; LU-tron) when he died on the cross. Rather than liberating his people from political oppression as many expected the Messiah to do, Jesus came to free his people from the demonic powers to which they were enslaved because of sin. His blood was the purchase price, offered not to Satan but to the Father as the ultimate expression of his love. By giving his life for them and for us, Jesus didn't make light of our guilt but lifted us, as one commentator has said, "out of disobedience into his own obedience,"1 thereby freeing us from the bondage of sin and remaking us in his image.
Studying the Name
- If Christ has purchased you with his blood, what are the implications for your sense of self-worth? For your sense of the worth of others?
- The passage from Revelation indicates that you were purchased for God. If that is so, what are the implications for your life?
- Scripture says that Jesus has purchased members from every tribe and language and people and nations. Is that diversity represented in your denomination or your local church? If not, why not?
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.