“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:7 NKJV
I have had a song stuck in my head for weeks now! Usually, this gets super irritating as it is normally a Veggie Tales song or something else equally childish, but this time it is a beautiful worship song: “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave. If you haven’t heard it, look it up on YouTube, or Spotify, or Pandora and climb inside my head for a few minutes.
This song really resonates with me at this time in my life. For so long I’ve been stuck on incidents from my past, each one to be reflected on individually; each memory and experience to be turned over and over in my mind, evaluated and re-evaluated. Coming to terms with my past, and asking for forgiveness for each one is incredibly humbling. It’s one thing to believe something of yourself, or even to hear opinions of who or what other people believe you to be. But when God, in all His mercy and grace, walks with you through those memories and says, “It’s okay. I was there with you when that happened, and when you did that, too. I forgive you for ignoring me, for walking away from me, for disobeying me. I love you still. I always will.”
According to Leviticus 25:47-54, redemption was the price paid to gain freedom for a slave. Through His death, Jesus paid the price to release us from slavery to sin. I am no longer a slave to sin, though I will always be a sinner. Jesus set me free. He gave me the ability to choose: His way or my way. Leviticus 17:11 (don’t you just love those old testament books about the law!) explains that forgiveness was granted to the Israelite’s through the sacrifices of blameless animals. We are forgiven on the basis of the shedding of Jesus’ blood, the perfect and final sacrifice.
Jesus’ death still makes me cry whenever I read or talk about it (even now, I am typing with misty eyes), and I truly hope that it will always have that effect on me. He was whipped, beaten, spit on, kicked, teased, made to carry His own cross to the site of His death, all the while knowing He was to be nailed to it, to be mocked even more, and then to eventually die on it. It makes me think of someone who is wrongly executed on death row. I picture him walking his final steps down a long hallway, he knows he is taking his last breaths; getting strapped to a chair or bed and looking out at the people who have come to watch him die. Looking into their eyes and seeing nothing but hate, and maybe a smile or two because they are so glad to see him die, maybe even hoping he’ll suffer a little. Knowing they believe him to be someone that he is not. He is innocent, but they kill him and the crowd is pleased. Jesus went through all of this same torture for me. For me. And for you. He suffered so we could spend eternity with Him, so all of mankind could have a lasting relationship with God.
To have a friendship with someone that has endured so much pain because of things that I have done (not to mention everything I have yet to do), is indescribable. Most parents would die for their children so that the other might have life, a lot of spouses would do the same. Jesus did so much more than die for us, though that is the more important part. He died for each and every one of us. Then He rose. Now, we each have the opportunity to be redeemed and forgiven. To be able to live a new life regardless of what we were before. Jesus’ death has the ability to wipe us clean. You just have to ask.