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1 Peter 1:18,19 – …You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
“Redeem” means “to free by paying a ransom … to liberate from an oppressive situation, set free, rescue …” – Bauer-Danker-Arndt-Gingrich.
Consider the meaning of redemption and how it relates to the blood of Jesus that we remember in the Lord’s Supper.
We usually think of redemption regarding forgiveness of sins. But the term is often used, especially in the Old Testament, to being bought back from physical circumstances. For example:
Leviticus 25:25,26 – Financial problems may compel a man to sell property. But if he later prospered, he may redeem or purchase the property back. Or a relative could redeem the property so it remained in the family.
Ruth 4:4 illustrates this. Because of poverty, Naomi’s husband had sold his property. Years later when Naomi returned from Moab with her daughter-in-law Ruth, a near kinsman named Boaz chose to redeem or buy back the property.
(Exodus 13:15 – redemption of the firstborn son)
Deuteronomy 15:15 – You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you... When God enabled the Israelites to be set free from slavery in Egypt, He redeemed or bought them to Himself. As a result, they became His people. (Exodus 6:6; Deuteronomy 7:8)
Later, because of their sins, the people became slaves in Babylon. God again redeemed or purchased them to Himself to set them free from slavery. (Isaiah 48:20)
Other examples illustrate that redeeming means buying something back from belonging to someone else.
In the spiritual application, people who should belong to God have become slaves to sin because they disobeyed God.
Romans 6:16 – Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? By practicing sin, we became enslaved: we put ourselves under the power of sin.
Titus 2:14 – Jesus gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Hebrews 9:12 – Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Revelation 5:9 – And they sang a new song, saying: “…You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”
So Jesus Christ voluntarily paid the price of dying on the cross to purchase us back from the power of sin. As a result, we no longer belong to sin, but we now belong to Jesus. This makes us responsible to obey and serve Him.
This is the power of the blood of Jesus Christ which we now remember in the Lord’s Supper.
(Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14)
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2020
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.