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Archive for Redemption

Dec
16

From and For

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Jesus has come to redeem our broken lives from sin. But He did not come just to save us from something. Redemption also involves a purpose…a saving for, if you will. Zechariah concludes his prophetic hymn of praise for Christ with these words, “He has given us the privilege, since we have been rescued from the enemies’ clutches, to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness in His presence all our days” (Luke 1:73-75, HCSB).

We should be thankful to have been redeemed by Jesus from the clutches of the enemy. But even more, we should be thankful that we have been redeemed for a purpose. Check out the four purposes redemption provides for us:

1. To live without fear of our enemies, chiefly, sin, death, and the grave.
2. To live in holiness, meaning that relationally we belong to God. Holy is not a behavioral concept, it’s a relational concept—we are set apart to God, by God, and for God!                                                                                                           
3. To live in righteousness, meaning that we are empowered to live as Jesus lived and would have us live.
4. To live in His presence all our days. After all, the only way we can stand in the presence of God is because we have been redeemed.

This Advent season I’d like to encourage you to think about Jesus our Redeemer. He’s not just redeemed us from something. He’s redeemed us for something. And the for makes our lives purposeful and meaningful.

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Dec
15

On Recycling and Redemption

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I have a love-hate relationship with recycling. Our local trash company has gone to extreme measures to help families with the task. They provide a box for containers as well as a roll-out dumpster with a helpful label inside the lid to help families classify their recyclable items. In the words of Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green.” But we’re getting better.

My wife thinks it’s a good idea to recycle pop cans. Not in the bin, mind you. After all, each Diet Coke can is worth a nickel. So we cull those cans out and take them to a redemption center. (For those of you who are not fluent in spouse-ese, that means it’s my job to bag the cans and haul them to the grocery store for redemption, even though I don’t drink canned soda.) Each can times .05 = lunch money.

Zechariah’s prophetic word in Luke 1 speaks of the birth of Christ in terms of redemption. Those of you who have taken choir will recognize these words as the lyrical content of Benedictus, or “blessing.” Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Zechariah proclaims, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and provided redemption for his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, just as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets in ancient times;” (Luke 1:68-70, HCSB).

Zechariah’s words provide us with a beautiful picture of what God was about to accomplish in the first Christmas. To redeem something means to buy it back for a price. Christ came to redeem us from sin. Like those pop cans, our lives are empty, void, and for all intents and purposes, worthless. We are no good to ourselves or to anyone else. Yet God sees the potential in us. He values us and loves us to the extent that He is willing to “buy us back” so that we can become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). But it took more than a nickel. It took the very life of Jesus to pay the price. With Zechariah let us exclaim, “Praise the Lord!”

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