“I wish parents could have Grace like God.” Those were the words that came out of the mouth of my daughter when she was about seven. She had just gotten into trouble for doing something she had been asked not to do on numerous occasions before. Only this time she was getting disciplined for it.
We had been telling her for years that God would always love her no matter what she did. That his Grace covered all of her wrong doing and all she had to do was say sorry and ask for his forgiveness and all would be well. Still her grasp on the subject shocked me a little. She believed it enough to know the difference between how God was treating her indiscretions and how her parents were treating them. Of course, we had to remind her of the differences between why God can have that kind of grace and why we can’t always do the same, but it gave us a great opportunity to teach her a couple of new words. Words that are at the center of her and all of our lives as followers of Jesus. Redeemer and Redemption.
Redemption is one of those words that is just beautiful. It rolls off the tongue with little difficulty and it is attractive on a page, flowing perfectly, with just the right number of peaks and valleys. (Can you tell I’m a word geek??) However, this word is so much more than its outside appearance. The meaning behind this word makes it one of the most beautiful words I know. What’s a word geek without an official dictionary definition, right? Check out what redemption is defined as:
- The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.
- The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment or, clearing a debt
Wow. There really isn’t much more that needs to be said, is there? It’s all right there, in the dictionary of all things! God’s hope and plan for every person in the entire world who has ever lived, is living, or will live.
Redemption is not a new concept to us. We know the story, right? God sent his son to redeem us, that is, save us from our sin, error, and evil. Jesus paid for this sin with his blood. The blood was his payment in exchange for clearing our debt. Remember John 3:16? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.” God loves you. God wants you. He wants you so much, that he gave the ultimate sacrifice just so he could have you. He washed you (and me!) clean. He has REDEEMED us! We just have to allow him into our hearts. The rest is already finished. Jesus said so, in his final words before he died, as one final reminder to you and me that he took the fall, so we wouldn’t have to.
In these weeks leading up to Easter, let’s not just go through the “same old motions” and listen to the “same old stories”. This year I want us all to really understand what our redemption means. I want us to really know what it feels like to be truly redeemed. I want us to LIVE it!!! There is nothing you can say or do, there is nothing that you have done or will do, there is nothing that has been or will be said or done to you, that can keep you from your Father. He paved the way for you already. He paid the price. You are CLEAN. You are LOVED. You are WANTED. You are REDEEMED, which means you are FREE. So, go. Live loved. Be free.