Jesus, our Redemption
1 Peter 1:18-19
Grace, Mercy and Peace are yours from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 18 & 19: For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Jesus is our Redemption.
This passage from 1 Peter provides a definition of redemption. Jesus delivered you or saved you from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, by paying the price of His own holy precious blood and his innocent suffering and death.
This Bible word Redemption adds to our understanding of what Jesus did for us. It is good for us as we meditate on the passion and death of our Lord Jesus to think of it in terms of our redemption Ephesians chapter one says, “In Jesus the Son of God, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
We have this redemption through the blood of Jesus. Our salvation didn’t come cheap or easy. It came at a price -- The blood of Jesus and His innocent suffering and death. So we sing our praises to the Lord of Glory who has bought us with His life-blood as the price.
In tonight’s reading of the passion history, we can hear how the expense of our redemption was weighing heavily on the Savior. In anguish He prayed, “Father, if you are willing remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” [Luke 22:42]. The spiritual and emotional stress was taxing Jesus’ physical body. In anticipation of the bloodshed that was about to come to Him, “his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
I teach the Apostles’ Creed to the children of our Fun in the Son Preschool. Last week’s lesson was “suffered under Pontius Pilate.” And today’s lesson was “was crucified.” And the children today were just appalled by this idea that Jesus, who had never done anything wrong, should suffer, and be crucified. One child said, “I don’t like Pontius Pilate.” Another said, “Pontius Pilate should have been on the cross.” It was good for me to see the cross through their new and fresh perspective. We, who have grown up a little bit more than they, ought not to lose that full sense of anguish and horror as we see that our salvation came at the price of Jesus holy precious blood and his innocent suffering and death.
Jesus said, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” He put aside His will, His self-preservation, His own life, to do His Father’s will and His Father’s will is to love you.
Try to imagine what it might have been like to live back in the early years of the United States of America, back in those days, when slavery was legal. At first it seems inconceivable to us that the good Christian people who lived back then didn’t do something to stop slavery sooner.
What would you have done? Suppose you knew someone who lived nearby, with whom you were on friendly terms. You thought a lot of this person. But you were saddened that this man or woman was not free. They were not free to find another job or start a new career. They weren’t free to move to another area or community. Quite likely they weren’t even free to see their family members or have a say in whether or when their children were taken away and sold off.
You’d feel sorry for them, wouldn’t you? You’d want to do something, wouldn’t you?
You would want to find a way to redeem this friend.
But could you?
A slave in the early 1800s in the Southern United States, was worth a lot of money -- about $1000 for a woman, $1,500 for a man. That was not just pocket money in 1850.
It would be very frustrating to have friend who was a slave but not have the means to redeem him or her.
How much would you give up so that your friend would go free? Would you be willing to sell all your possessions? Would you give away your children’s inheritance? Would you give up your freedom so your friend could go free?
Fortunately for you, you probably will never be asked such a question. You won’t have to bear such a burdensome decision.
In agony our Lord Jesus prayed as He counted the price He was going to have to pray for our redemption.
Not silver and gold, not thousands of dollars nor millions of dollars. The price was His blood. The cost was His life.
You were the slave. You were born into slavery into that empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers. By nature a slave to sin, you kept going deeper into sin by rebelling against your Lord and Master, and by failing to do all He commanded you to do. You were stuck in that slavery and by all rights, expected to die in that slavery.
But now you and Job can sing together, “I know that my Redeemer lives.”
Ultimately for the problems and frustrations that our forefathers had with the Southern states, the answer was force. By threat, and by warfare, and at gunpoint the slaves were set free.
The almighty God in heaven chose a different way of doing things. Not by power. Not by might. Not by coercion and force. But by love, He gave His Son into suffering and death. And you were redeemed.
Let us pray,
Then, for all that wrought my pardon,
For Thy sorrows deep and sore,
For Thine anguish in the Garden,
I will thank Thee evermore,
Thank Thee for Thy groaning, sighing,
For Thy bleeding and Thy dying,
For that last triumphant cry,
And shall praise Thee, Lord, on high.