Redemption, Part I

Redeemed--how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever, I am.

Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child, and forever, I am.
                                                             Fanny J. Crosby

I used to sing this song with gusto in the little church where I grew up. Many churches, I suppose, counted it among their repertoire of songs. The thought that God in Christ Jesus would redeem me from death caused by my trespasses and sins to new life where old things have passed and all things have become new enthralls me.

Redemption is a vital concept throughout the Christian scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. In the OT it had social and legal ramifications and although the spiritual realm is present in the OT, the NT shines a laser light on it with Jesus as Redeemer.

With a cursory look through the Christian Bible one discovers many things that needed redemption or were redeemable.                                                                                                 Animals: Ex. 13:13, 34:20, Num. 18:15                                                                                                 Land: Lev. 25: 24-26, Jer. 32:8                                                                                                             Houses – in a walled city or village: Lev. 25:29-32                                                               Slaves/Indentured servants: Lev. 25:48, 49                                                                             Firstborn sons: Ex. 13:15, 13:13, 34:20, Num. 18:15-16                                                                 These passages indicate something that needs to be exchanged, bought, or bought back.

A primary concept of redemption in the OT comes from the nation of Israel itself. It is redeemed . . .                                                                                                                                             From Egypt: Ex. 6:6, Deut. 7:8, 15:15, 24:18, II Sam. 7:23, I Chron. 17:2.                                 From Babylon: Neh. 1:10, Zec. 10:8From national oppression: Deut. 30:3, Ps. 130: 8, 106:10, 119:9, 130:7 Isa. 43:1, Jer. 31:11, Hos. 7:13, 13:14.                                                                       Through the Messiah: Luke 1:68, 2:38                                                                                                     In these verses the idea of being set free from slavery, captivity and oppression is strong.   Israel understood itself as a special nation redeemed by the LORD God’s “mighty hand.” This was a rallying cry for the children of Israel to conquest, freedom from oppressors, nationhood, and national revival.

In the NT redemption is in and comes through Jesus the Christ. He redeems . . .             From sin: Rom. 3:24, I Cor. 1:30, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14, Titus 2:14, Heb. 9:12, I Pet. 1:18        From the law: Gal. 3:13, 4:5                                                                                                                         In end times: Luke 21:28                                                                                                                   Redemption – from sin and wickedness, – from the “curse of the law” and – to eternal life, comes through our Lord and Savior. What a thought! What a salvation!

“The term ‘redemption’ in Christian theology refers to the mystery of God’s deliverance of (humankind) from the evil of sin and His restoration of (humanity) to the state of grace by an act of divine power and merciful love.” The New Catholic Encyclopedia The ideas of restoration and ransom appear to be included in the concept of redemption.

How do you define redemption? What does it mean to you to be redeemed? How deep does redemption go?

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