What does it mean to be redeemed? I am old enough to remember when my grandmother and mother saved S & H green stamps. They got them from the grocery story after each purchase and had little booklets that they kept them in. When they had enough little booklets for what they were saving for, they would go to the S & H redemption center and turn them in for an item on their wish list, like a new toaster. I used to enjoy sticking those little stamps in the books for my Nanny. They didn’t taste good but I felt like a was contributing to a new thing that would appear in the household soon. You gave the stamps and you got a prize, something worth much more than a booklet of stamps.
Jesus says that He has redeemed us. What does that mean? Like the book of stamps, Jesus has patiently put us together into something that has value and can be traded for something of greater value. What is the value? Eternal life with God! What was traded? Jesus’s own life at the cross. We did not do anything to earn salvation. We are saved by His grace and mercy alone.
There are about twelve different definitions for redeemed in the Merriam Webster online dictionary. The ones that have to do with our redemption are: freed from the consequences of sin, to release from blame or debt and to buy back. We have reaped the benefits of Jesus freeing us from eternal separation from God because He has released us from our debt to sin and has purchased us back for God with His own shed blood. Think about that for a moment. Jesus did it all for each of us because of His great love for us!
This verse is a beautiful word picture of what Jesus has done for us. But notice that we have a part to play, too. We have to choose to return to Him, confessing that He has done exactly what He said and that He is our Lord and Savior. There is absolutely nothing that we can do to be in right standing before God unless we have Jesus as our intermediary. He paid the full price for each of us and in His sacrificial death, He swept away all of our sins. Believe, confess, repent and live for Him. The steps to salvation are not hard but they do require reflection, an honest appraisal of life as we have been living and a desire to turn onto a new path with the Lord.
My prayer for each of you today is a renewed fervor to serve the Lord who redeemed you and to make each day count for Him.