In October I reflected on Revelation and then, last month, on Reconciliation as two aspects of the Incarnation. This month we consider Redemption.
Titus 2:14 – Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own eager to do what is good”.
When someone frees a slave he pays a ransom for his freedom. That is exactly what Jesus said he had come to do – for us. Mark 10:45 – “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”. Some have asked to whom has the ransom been paid, and have argued that it was to Satan. But the idea cannot be pressed that far. God is under no obligation whatever to pay anything to Satan; nor does Satan, having been cast down from heaven, have the power to make any demands on God. No, the focus is not on the one to whom the ransom has been paid but on the glorious One who willingly paid it, out of sheer love and grace towards us sinners who deserved nothing of the sort. But consider the enormous power exerted by Christ when, by his death, he ransomed sinners, for “the whole world is under the control of the evil one”- I John 5:19.
Colossians 1:13 – “He (Christ) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”. Every time a sinner repents and turns to Christ, not only do the angels in heaven rejoice, but Satan loses one more soul from under his control! Christ delivers us from death, the penalty for sin, and thereby the very fear of death. In Hebrews 2:14,15 we have a great setting forth of the purpose and accomplishment of the Incarnation, the wonderful event and act of God we celebrate at Christmas time: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death”.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like me his praise should sing?
Your brother in Christ,
PS Look out for information in the New Year about our Spring Mini – Event on Saturday, March 12th at the URC Hall in Saffron Walden from 9.45am until 12.30pm. Do keep the date free!