Some time ago I was offered a small card. On it was written, “SHOW THIS CARD TO REDEEM YOUR FREE SHOT”! It was from a local bar offering a free shot of vodka if I took this card and offered it in exchange for the card. One of our national supermarket chains has a customer loyalty card scheme which they call a “Clubcard”. Every so often customers are advised to “Redeem your Clubcard points”!
This got me thinking how that the Bible speaks so often concerning REDEMPTION. In fact the Bible is the only Holy Book in the world that has as its central theme the subject of Redemption. Redemption is only taught in Judaism and Biblical Christianity! Islam has no doctrine of redemption, neither does Buddhism, Hinduism, Bahaism, Sikhism nor any other religion!
In the Torah Redemption is purely for the nation of Israel however in the New Testament Redemption is for the whole world, Jew AND Gentile alike!
What is Redemption?
In the original Hebrew text of the Torah the word for “Redemption” is פדות (pronounced pĕduwth).
The original Greek text of the New Testament for “Redemption” is ἀπολύτρωσις
Both words mean the same thing.
According to Webster’s Dictionary “to Redeem” means:
1. a : to buy back : repurchase
b : to get or win back
c : to release from blame or debt : clear
In the Bible Jesus Christ is described as being the one who has redeemed the world:
“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Hebrews 9:15)
The Bible clearly teaches that all men have broken God’s Law and, by so doing, have lost their souls. Christ asks a question, “what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
(Matthew 16:26 & Mark 8:37) In other words, “How will a man redeem his soul?” This is a very sobering question because how much is the soul of a man worth? What do any of us have that God could possibly want? Money? (He is the King of the Universe), Power? (He is All-Powerful). What do any of us have that would be enough?
God required Israel to offer blood sacrifices as sin offerings, “And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering.” (Leviticus 4:25)
Yet even these offerings were not sufficient:
“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of sins every year. For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:1-4)
God Himself has provided the perfect redemption price for the souls of men through Jesus Christ:
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us].”(Hebrews 9:12)
Jesus Christ paid the redemption price for us by the shedding of His own blood at Calvary! As it is written,
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19). In fact God had already revealed to the world that this is what He would do some 750 years earlier through the prophet Isaiah when he wrote:
“But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
No, we cannot redeem ourselves; we have nothing worthwhile to offer in exchange for our souls!
“we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” In the sight of God we are destitute, deprived of His glory and depraved because of our love for sin! “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesians 2:3-5)
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
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