Hebrews 9:11-12 (NKJV)
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Romans 8:20-23 (NKJV)
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Ephesians 4:30 (NKJV)
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
“…having obtained eternal redemption.
The Story of Redemption
Everyone loves a story of redemption: a story where the characters are swallowed up in events and circumstances that look hopeless; but then, almost miraculously, their direction is changed. Rags become riches, sorrow becomes joy, and their time of hardship and suffering is transformed into the phrase “and they lived happily ever after.” A story of redemption is a story with a happy ending.
Redemption is the plotline of most of our culture’s most popular stories and tales. Mankind is intrigued by stories of redemption and “happily ever after” because it is something everyone is looking for and dreaming of for themselves. As men and women face seasons of hardships, sicknesses, loss, grief, disappointment, confusion, and just plain exhaustion, the idea of “happily ever after” sounds pretty good.
Sin and Suffering
The world we live in contains a lot of unpleasant things that lead to suffering. From big things like wars, crime, abuse, disease, to lesser things like toil, divorce, or hurt feelings, these are all realities of the world we live in. We all understand that these evils cause pain and suffering, and we all understand that these things are not good.
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.Romans 7:18-19 NIV
The bible teaches us that all this pain and suffering is in the world because of sin. Mankind has sinful hearts that contain greed, hate, jealousy, pride, and lust. This sin is the root cause of all of our problems. As long as sin is in the world, suffering will continue.
Who Will Deliver Us?
In his letter to the Roman church, Paul described a dilemma that faces all of mankind. No matter how hard we try to avoid sinning, sin is imbedded into the very nature of fallen mankind. Paul described us as slaves to sin. The inability to conquer the sin in our own heart becomes very obvious us to when we set out to try to do so. No amount of effort or fighting can enable us to break free from the taskmaster of sin. There is seemingly no way to for man to escape sin. And if we cannot escape sin, we cannot escape the suffering and pain it has created in the world.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!Romans 7:24-25 NIV
As Paul lamented about this great dilemma to the Romans, he asked them a question; a good question that everyone who struggles with sin ends up asking: “Who will rescue me from this?”
We Have A Redeemer
Today we live in a world of suffering caused by sin, but our story has a hero. Jesus Christ is our redeemer. He has came into the world as the antidote to sin.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.Genesis 3:21 KJV
Throughout the Old Testament, God showed a pattern for how the world could be redeemed from sin. After Adam and Eve sinned, they attempted to hide their nakedness by creating for themselves clothing from the leaves of the trees. That was never going to work. Man was not going to be able to engineer his own solution to the problem of sin. God demonstrated that it would take the life of another to cover their sins when he made them a coat of skins to wear. (Genesis 3:19-21)
Cain and Abel repeated the pattern of Adam and Eve. Cain offered the fruit from his garden as an offering, but Able offered a lamb of his flock. Their story again illustrated that it was going to take the life of another to cover sin. (Genesis 4:1-7)
This pattern of the sacrifice required to pay the penalty for man’s sin was repeated from generation to generation and elaborately demonstrated to the children of Israel in the law given to Moses by God. Through the law and the prophets, God revealed ever more details about the manner in which sin would be atoned for, and by which mankind would be set free. (John 5:39)
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.Isaiah 53:6-9 KJV
The prophet Isaiah described just how the coming Savior would redeem mankind from their sin in exquisite detail: Jesus would stand in our place and accept the death penalty that we deserved. He would willingly take our place so that we could go free. (Isaiah 53)
After raising from the dead, Jesus told his disciples that he had been given all power in heaven and earth, and had triumphed over death itself. His resurrection and appearance to hundreds his disciples proved the power and authenticity of his claims. The most powerful proof of his identity was the manner in which he carefully and precisely fulfilled thousands of years of prophesies and patterns that foreshadowed the coming of a redeemer. (Luke 24:44)
…creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption.Romans 8:22 NIV
The Day of Redemption
Redemption is an ongoing process. Scripture teaches us that all of creation is going to be redeemed from the corruption of sin. One day, sin will be completely removed from the world, and with its removal, all pain and suffering will cease.
Even our mortal bodies, which are still subject to death will be redeemed and transformed into immortal bodies, like the body of Jesus. On the day of redemption, Jesus will redeem all of creation. When will we experience the redemption of our bodies? When Christ returns to earth. (1 John 3:2)
While the redemption of our bodies and of creation are events to transpire in the future, our souls can be redeemed today. In fact, if we want to take part in the great future day of redemption, we must first have our souls redeemed today. (Romans 8:23)
New Birth of a New Creature
When we believe on Christ and are born again, we become something new. Our souls are redeemed, our mind is gradually renewed, the way we think and our character is transformed by the Holy Spirit as it bears its fruit in our life. We become partakers of the divine nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Peter 1:4)
Sin’s Penalty, Power, and Prescence
When we become born again, we are saved from sin’s penalty. From that moment God looks at us through the blood of Jesus and sees us as perfect and complete. (John 3:16-18, Romans 8:1-2) As we walk with Christ and grow and mature as Christians, God is saving us from the power of sin, slowly transforming us into that final state. We are no longer a slave to sin, and we become free through Christ to live a holy and godly life. (Philippians 2:12-13, Galatians 5:16) When redemption is completed, we will finally be free from the very presence of sin and its effects. Our glorification will happen the day we meet Jesus, either at his return or when our life on earth is completed. (1 John 1:8, 1 John 3:2)
Redemption is a Work in Progress
The Bible lets us know that redemption is a work in progress. Scripture uses different illustrations to help us understand that we are gradually growing into a completed work.
I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.Philippians 1:6 NIV
Jesus talks about his followers as lambs who grow into sheep, (John 21:17) and also compared his disciples to wheat growing in a field. (Matthew 13:3-8) The Apostle Paul also compared Christ’s disciples to new-born milk-drinking babies who grow into mature meat-eating Christians. (1 Corinthians 3:2) John spoke to different groups of Christians as little children, young men, and fathers to illustrate their growth over time. (1 John 2:12-18)
In Sunday school, we used to sing a song that many are familiar with.
There really ought to be a sign upon my heart
Don’t judge him yet, there’s an unfinished part
But I’ll be better just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master’s loving hands
He’s still working on me
To make me what I need to be
God is still working on each of us, and none of us are a finished work yet. It is important to remember this regarding yourself and others, and to show the same grace to yourself and your neighbors as Christ does.
Happily Ever After
Our “Happily Ever After” is coming, it has been promised to us by Jesus. There is coming a day when sin and all the pain and suffering it causes is removed from the world, and you and I will live in perfect peace and joy forever.
Our story has a happy ending. Even though we are still in the middle of it, we can take comfort in the promise that we have been sealed till the day of redemption. The redemption Jesus has obtained for us is eternal. It will never fail, it will never cease, and it can never be hindered.
Devotion: A Prayer of the Puritans
God of my end,
It is my greatest, noblest pleasure to be acquainted with thee.
It is sweet and entertaining
to looking into my being
when all my powers and passions
are united and engaged in pursuit of thee,
when my soul longs and passionately breathes
after conformity to thee
and the full enjoyment of thee;
No hours shall pass away with so much pleasure
as those spent in communion with thee.
O how desirable, how profitable to the Christian life
is a spirit of holy watchfulness
and godly jealously over myself,
and when my soul is afraid of nothing
except grieving and offending thee,
the blessed God, my Father and friend,
whom I then love and long to please,
rather than be happy in myself!
Knowing, as I do, that this is the pious temper,
worthy of the higher ambition,
and the closest pursuit of intelligent creatures and holy Christians,
may my joy derive from glorifying and delighting thee.
I long to fill all my time for thee,
whether at home or the way;
to place all my concerns in thy hands;
to be entirely at thy disposal,
having no will or interest of my own.
Help me to live to thee for ever,
to make thee my last and only end,
so that I may never more in one instance love my sinful self.
In Jesus name, I ask it
The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers Edited by Arthur Bennet, 1975
- Why is mankind in need of redemption?
- What is the cost of mankind’s redemption?
- What has Jesus already redeemed?
- What will Jesus redeem in the future?