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Redemption Free and Clear

During the Lenten season, with the approach of Easter, we hear a lot about redemption. How often do we take time to contemplate this facet of Jesus' work on the cross?
    According to the dictionary, Redemption means:
  1. An act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or a mistake.
  2. Deliverance or rescue
  3. In theology, redemption is deliverance from sin which is salvation.
  4. Atonement for guilt (atone: to make amends for)
  5. Repurchase of something sold.
    Redeem means:
  1. To buy or pay off, as in to redeem a mortgage.
  2. To buy back, as in after a tax sale or a mortgage foreclosure.
  3. To recover as in redeeming a pawned object.

The definitions concerning mortgage redemption struck home. There are so many stories of mortgage foreclosures in the newspapers today. I imagine buying or building a new house. I arrange a mortgage with my local bank. I put all of my money, hard work, and my heart into that house - building, decorating, landscaping - everything to make it into the perfect home - comfortable and happy.

Then, I discover that I have made a mistake. I may have spent more on the house than I could afford or I have spent more money in other places than I should. Interest rates go up or I lose my job so that I am unable to pay the monthly installments on my mortgage. Soon I am in default. The bank forecloses and takes my house - my home. I am forced to live on the street so I find a dirty, uncomfortable cardboard box and I call it home.

But, what if a person came along and bought my house, paid the full price, and handed me the deed - free and clear? Now, I had no money to repay the person and I did nothing to earn this person's kindness. In fact, if I were to be honest, I have shown no love or respect to this person. However, the person redeemed my house - my home - and gave it back to me. I can live in it forever. There is no debt that is held against me.

This may be a poor explanation of the redemption that Jesus provides. Paying off a mortgage is not much compared to the payment Jesus made for my life. The payment I owed for my sin was death. Jesus willingly paid that debt with His life. No one made Him pay it. It had been His plan from the beginning when sin began to enslave people. I was worth nothing to Jesus. I was sinful, ignorant, and useless. I couldn't pay the debt and I could give Him nothing in return. I couldn't even guarantee that I wouldn't be disrespectful in the future. He gave me the deed to eternal life free and clear.

I have been delivered and rescued. I was sold into slavery and I have been repurchased.

One last thought: I didn't go looking for Jesus to obtain this redemption. God drew me to Him. In John 6:44, Jesus said, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him."

If it wasn't for Jesus, I would still be living unhappily, in a dirty cardboard box on the street, and believing I was home.



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