The crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ – Forgiveness & Redemption. The whole of Christianity hinges on those two events, and what they made possible. Yesterday marked the end of Holy Week with the celebration of Easter – Resurrection Sunday – so what better time to talk about how those two words – Forgiveness & Redemption – have impacted our little family this past year?
Romans 5:8-11 – But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Ephesians 1:7 (NIV) – 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.
Last week we talked about the crucifixion, and how it brought about our forgiveness. We saw how being forgiven enables us to then forgive others. I told you how our family learned to forgive the unforgivable. This week, in the wake of Easter, let’s shift our attention to the resurrection of Jesus and how it brought about our redemption. Let’s examine how through that mighty work, even the most broken situation can be made new!
The Resurrection Brought Redemption
Romans 6:4-7 – For we died and were buried with Christ in baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as He was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with Him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over Him. When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
Oh what glorious victory there is in that empty tomb! Friends, our God’s love for us is so great that He didn’t stop at forgiveness. He didn’t just offer His Perfect Son as a sacrifice for our sins, but He CONQUERED sin and death forever when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. The crucifixion (the shed blood of Jesus) covered our sins and offered forgiveness. But the resurrection – praise God, the resurrection made us new! It made possible not just forgiveness, but for God to pluck us up out of our sinfulness and REDEEM us! (John 11:25,Romans 4:24-25, Ephesians 1:4-6)The crucifixion (the shed blood of Jesus) covered our sins and offered forgiveness. But the resurrection – praise God, the resurrection made us new! It made possible not just forgiveness, but for God to pluck us up out of our… Click To Tweet
So often in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, the author expresses his deep longing for the readers to be able to “understand” some truth about God. For me, this is one of those times. How I pray, even now as I write, that we can understand what it really means that we are redeemed. What it means to be made new. It is an understanding that will change everything!
Now, we are no longer identified as the same people we were before we believed. Once we accepted that free gift that He offers, we became all together new. That sinful person we were was crucified with Christ, and a new creation was raised with Him. We are free! Free to live in victory each and every moment we surrender to Him. Free to live, as our Lord does, for the glory of God – alive, and whole!
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 – So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Allowing Redemption to Win
Indeed, we have been redeemed. But too often, we don’t live in that redemption. We revert back to our sinful selves. We catch ourselves living in Romans 7 instead of turning the page and realizing we belong in Romans 8!Indeed, we have been redeemed. But too often, we don't live in that redemption. We revert back to our sinful selves. We catch ourselves living in Romans 7 instead of turning the page and realizing we belong in Romans 8! Click To Tweet
Too often, it doesn’t feel that simple. We listen to the lies the enemy whispers in our ears. He tells us we “deserve” vindication or tells us we have the “right” to hang on to our hurts. After all, they cut so deep. Suddenly instead of living in the freedom that forgiveness offers, we find ourselves right back in the turmoil of executing justice or trying in vain to change what has already been done. It is a vicious trap that only leads to misery. We don’t have to live there. We have been made new, and we CAN choose to let that truth rule our lives.
For our family, this simple fact has been the key to victory. Each of us has decided to live redeemed. And just as understanding our own forgiveness leads to the ability to forgive others, understanding that we ourselves have been made new leads to the ability to allow redemption to win in others as well.
Because I recognize that God took me from a place of utter sinfulness and made me into a beautiful creation in Him, I can accept that He can do the same for my love. Even though the enemy may try to convince me that his sin is worse than mine. Even though Satan may whisper to my soul that my love is beyond redemption. It is a lie!!! I can choose to see that truth and celebrate the work of God. The greater the sin, the more cause for celebration when that lost sheep comes home!
Y’all, the simple truth is this: Our family is living in freedom. We are happy. There is joy and peace in our home. Simply because we individually followed the example of Christ and allowed God to forgive us and redeem us and then chose to celebrate that forgiveness and redemption in each other. We talk about it. We’re not trying to get back to “normal.” Normal sucked! Instead, we’re trying to embrace the new thing that God has made from our broken little family. For it brings Him far more glory than “normal” ever did! It cannot be credited to anything we have done or can do. It is His redeemed creation, and it is beautiful!
1 Peter 1:3-7 – All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by His great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
*How about you? How has the resurrection of Jesus changed your life forever? What have you seen Him redeem in your own life? How do you see redemption winning in your own story? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.