In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In Christ we have redemption through his blood. What does it mean to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus? The word redeem means to “pay off” or “buy back”, often relating to setting a person free. In the Bible redemption is the price paid to set mankind free from slavery to sin (Rom 6:16-23). That price was the blood of Jesus shed on the cross, that cleanses us from sin (1 John 1:7). He was the sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:26).
But, why was a sacrifice needed? How could the death of Jesus pay for my sin? If you owe a vast sum of money and have no way of paying off that debt, it is a huge worry and burden. But if a relative pays off your debt you are free and very grateful.
Our sin is a huge burden and worry. We cannot pay the debt we owe to God to become right before Him. In Romans Paul states “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We all feel guilt and shame for things we have done wrong. But God has given us a way to be free from that guilt and shame, through the death of Jesus. He who did not sin became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). He took our place and paid the debt we owed (Galatians 3:13). By taking the punishment for us we are accepted by God “just as if we had never sinned” (Romans 3:24). The Bible calls this justification.
What does it mean to be forgiven? If we offend someone it is great if they forgive us. But, often we do not deserve to be forgiven. This is true about our offences towards God. God did not have to forgive us. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden God could have destroyed them and started again. But he didn’t, because His nature is to have mercy, compassion and grace (Psalm 86:15). He forgives when we do not deserve to be forgiven.
However, forgiveness costs something. For God to be able to truly forgive He had to give his only Son to die in our place (John 3:16). Why? Because the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin brought death in to the world (Romans 5:12). God does not break His rules. He said to Adam “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). God told Adam the consequence of disobedience: you will die. Sin results in death. That is why we all face death.
Life and Death
In his second letter to the Corinthians Paul said “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,” (2 Corinthians 1:9). We can not sustain our life. One day all of us face that last breath on earth. Then we enter eternity. Death is not just leaving this earth but death is separation from the love of God. Eternal life is not living forever it is, as Jesus put it:
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)
Eternal life is knowing our loving Heavenly Father throughout eternity. Death is being separated from the love of God throughout eternity. Existing with the guilt, shame, torment and regret of choosing to reject Him when he offered us forgiveness. To be ready for entering eternity we need to be right with God. We need to be forgiven.
Forgiveness is the only way to avoid death. We need to place ourselves at the mercy of God and ask His forgiveness. Admit we are sinners and ask for forgiveness. Put your trust in God and He will respond. His plan is to forgive us but we need to respond to the gospel.
The Mystery of His Will
It is the will of God that none is lost. Jesus came to give us life (John 10:10). However, we can choose to go against his will. God offers us redemption, the way to salvation through Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:9). But, we can refuse to accept that gift even though it is freely given to us by the grace of God. God asks us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Decide to follow Jesus today. Accept him as your Lord and you will be assured of eternal life in the presence of your Loving Father, God Almighty.