Bible Reading: John 19:17-30; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Ephesians 2:1-8
Over the past two days we have seen two reasons why the cross is so important. These reasons were, firstly, because Jesus bore our sin on the cross as our substitute, and secondly, because through the blood of the cross we can be reconciled to God.
Thirdly, on the cross Jesus redeemed us and bought us back from Satan and his hold on our life. According to the Book of Revelation, a song that will be sung in heaven is about redemption. “You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every people.” [Revelation 5:9].
The word “redeem” means to pay a price to buy something back. In modern usage this word is used in the context of something that is pawned. When someone desperately needs money they can take an item of value to a pawnbroker and exchange it for cash. The pawnbroker will then hold the valued item for a period of time, and then return the item to its owner on the payment of the cash. The act of buying the item back is known as redemption.
Perhaps more culturally fitting with the New Testament times is the picture of the slave market. In our case that owner was Satan. Paul writes in Ephesians that we were under the control of the prince of the power of the air. We were prisoners of Satan and enslaved by sin. We were totally lost, but God reached down to save us, raised us up to new life, and gave us a hope and a future [Ephesians 2:1-8]. He did this through the cross, and paying the price to redeem us back from Satan and his control. Then having bought us, Jesus made us His possession, adopted us into His family and set us free. Jesus paid the price on the cross to set us free from Satan and sin!
Peter wrote, “For you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” [1 Peter 1:18-19]. Paul also wrote, “In Him [Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace [Ephesians 1:7].
In the Old Testament a slave who was bought by a good master would commit himself to serve that master for the rest of His life if he loved his master [Exodus 21:5-6]. Jesus has bought us with His blood, and now we choose to serve Him. We don’t serve Him to be accepted, but we choose to serve Him because we love Him and are accepted. This is the basis of Paul often saying that he is a bondservant of Jesus Christ.
In what way did Satan control and enslave us, before God in His grace, sent Jesus to redeem us by His blood [see Ephesians 2:1-8]?
The hymn writer wrote, “Ransomed [redeemed], healed, restored, forgiven.” What should our response be to all that Jesus did for us on the cross? What does it mean to be a bondservant of Jesus Christ [e.g. Romans 1:1]?