“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies,” [Romans 8:22-23]
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you,” [Ephesians 4:30-32]
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near,” [Luke 21:25-28]
The world is reeling. We can see that things are changing. And yet people everywhere, even Christians, seem to yawn and go about their daily business. The “groaning” of the creation is intensifying, and while this is tragic and devastating and creates both feelings of sorrow and awe, it is also a positive sign for the redeemed. Christians who have been united with Christ are called “the redeemed.” We have been adopted into the family of God. We were once enemies of God and slaves to sin, but God has purchased us with the blood of His son, and we have been adopted by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We have been redeemed. Our redeemer is God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Redeemer lives.
The idea of redemption carries deep meaning. It speaks of the love of the One who was willing to redeem us. It speaks of the high price that was paid to set us free. And it speaks of the serious condition we were in before our Redeemer saved us.
The word redemption is a compound word composed of two words that mean “from” and “the price for redeeming.” The word carries the idea of releasing the victim from the consequences of being held ransom, usually slavery… or death. The term was usually applied to kidnapped victims held for ransom, prisoners of war who were offered freedom for a price or slaves who could have their freedom purchased. But when speaking of the children of God, we know from Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” For the Christian, redemption is deliverance from the penalty of the payment of our sins. The payment for our sins is death, but through Jesus we have redemption. And this redemption is a holistic redemption, meaning it is not merely spiritual, but a COMPLETE redemption. There is now a complete reversing of all that sin has done to us. At the time of our conversion into Christ, we are redeemed spiritually; our spirits are made alive and given eternal life. But the completion of our redemption will be effected when the Son of Man comes to also redeem our bodies from death. What a powerful Redeemer we have! But as the time of the Redeemer’s return draws closer to us, Jesus’ promise that things will get worse before they get better is being fulfilled before our very eyes. This Message is bitter-sweet. God is allowing the curse of sin to tighten its grip on the world in the powerful hope that some stubborn hearts may repent and find life. And as the world continues to resist the Lord’s redemption in greater measure, the Lord’s resolve to get the attention of stubborn hearts increases; God loves people too much to simply let them go without a more intense “wake up call.” And this is all necessary because blindness is also increasing.
Be alert, church. Lift your heads. Your redemption is drawing near. If ever there was a time to witness despite the world’s resistance to Jesus, that time is now. Let’s not grow weary in doing good. Let’s not grow weary meeting together. But rather, let’s gather together and strategize how we can get the Message across to a world that doesn’t seem interested in listening; God WILL save some. Look up! Our redemption is drawing near!
Love in Jesus,