It’s Wednesday, and I’m up to R in my advent alphabet!
In the Bible, God says of himself: ‘I, the Lord, am your Saviour, your Redeemer, theMighty One of Jacob’ (Isaiah chapter 49, verse 26). After Jesus came, the apostle Paul wrote that ‘In him 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’ (Ephesians chapter 1, verses 7-8).
What does it mean to redeem? It is the act of buying back, of paying something to regain something that was once in your possession. In biblical times it often referred to the act of buying freedom for a slave.
When the Bible says that Jesus redeems, it is saying something incredibly profound. While we may not often feel it, our natural state is as slaves. We are slaves to sin, to the darkness of the world, to a lying enemy who flatters to deceive. The freedom that we think we have – to be our own boss – is actually slavery to untruth. True freedom is being redeemed from this slavery and brought back to God. The Bible tells us that this happens not through our own willpower, or decision, but through Jesus’s blood.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Saviour, but I am also so thankful when I remember that he was born to die in our place to redeem us and free us.