A few days ago we mentioned that, back in New Testament times, slaves were redeemed by paying a price. We also noted that there were two main reasons for redeeming a slave… 1) to make them your OWN possession; OR 2) to make them free.
When we talk about being redeemed through Jesus’ redeeming work we need to understand that God had both options in Mind when He redeemed us.
He really did redeem us to make us His OWN possession. That was His intent. That was His purpose. That was His pleasure. That was His end game.
But He also redeemed us to make us free.
In a very real sense, God went back to the very beginning when He first created Man (male and female!) and placed them in His most special place… the Garden of Eden.
At the center of all God was doing, was a singular hope… that Man would willingly choose to love God, fellowship with God, and draw from God all that they ever needed. The “tempting Tree” was placed in the vicinity to provide the option for the choice to be made.
God’s Heart, from the very beginning, has been to permit us to willingly choose Him (which also opened the door to all the terrible things that NOT choosing Him would bring!)
And when He sent His Son to be our Redeemer – He paid the price to set us free as we were at the very beginning… to return us all to that place where we could willingly choose to love Him (and belong to Him)… or not.
Christ’s redeeming work set us all free. But many will reject the Redeemer and run back to their bondage (either of sin OR the Law).
But God’s ever-present hope is that each of us would look at what He has graciously done to set us free (from sin and the Law’s curse)… and choose to make Him the supreme Object of our love and attention.
I don’t think I am oversimplifying when I say that this one hope is the central focus of WHY God created us in the first place.
He was willing to put up with all the senseless nonsense that humans do… just for the few who would turn to Him and say “thank you” with their surrendered lives.
The message of salvation (and redemption) leads us back to the one thing that matters most to God… He longs to have us as His Own treasured and precious possession. He paid the ultimate price (a price we could never afford) so that He might gain those hearts who would simply love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (and who would become overflowing conduits of His love!)
We WERE bought with a price – the price of the suffering and death of our Redeemer – and we were set free because He paid that price.
Now we ARE free. We are free to choose… to willingly give God what He paid for, or to run back to the dread comfort and familiarity of our chains…