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Summary: “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

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What is redemption? What Does It Mean to Be Redeemed?

What is God's Provision(s) for Man's Redemption?

Text: “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—so that they should live on forever and not see decay.” (Psalm 49:7-9)

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”(1 Corinthians 1:30)

Why did Jesus die? What is the point of the cross? For a lot of people, the crucifixion just doesn’t “make sense.” How does Jesus’ death accomplish anything? How does it “save us from our sins?”

Let’s look at where this whole idea of atonement comes from.

It has been observed by cultural anthropologists around the world that sacrifice was a universal practice. In Every ancient culture, people use to sacrifice animals, and sometimes even humans, to “appease the gods.” In ancient traditions, goats were taken and killed with the people’s sins placed upon their backs. And that is where our term “scapegoat” actually comes from. Scapegoats are chosen usually because they are younger, smaller, weaker, or different from the majority. Animals are a logical choice because of their relative helplessness next to humanity’s skill and technology.

From the time of Adam's sin to Moses, some 2,500 years, the offering of sacrifices was made by the head of the family. From Moses' time till the advent of Christ, animal sacrifices were offered in a special building, or sanctuary, constructed for this purpose. These sacrifices were a temporary arrangement, "a figure for the time then present" until the true Lamb of God would come. Hebrews 9:9 "Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices." The entire sacrificial work was organized in, and about, the sanctuary that Moses was instructed to build. Later, Solomon's Temple housed this service. It was built upon the very spot where Abraham brought his son, Isaac, to be sacrificed on Mount Moriah. Abel, Noah, and Abraham offered blood sacrifices because they had faith in the salvation promised through the coming Saviour. These Old Testament sacrifices were symbolic of Jesus and intended to keep fresh in mind the true Lamb of God who would come to earth and shed His blood for our redemption (Hebrews 9:3-5, Hebrews 9: 8, 13, 20, 22)

According to the law, forgiveness requires the sacrifice of a substitute: “The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22, NIV). It is designed to teach that the problem of sin is no light matter. It cannot be handled by a good resolution or an earnest resolve. It is not settled by simply deciding to turn over a new leaf, or to change one's attitude. It is something that is embedded in the race and touches the springs of life. It can only be solved by death. That, of course, is what ultimately explains the cross of Jesus Christ; why, in his coming, he could not merely teach us good things but he had to die to deal with the problem of sin.

However, there is one major problem with this sacrificial system of scapegoating. God is very clear in the Bible that God is not happy with this system. "I desire mercy not sacrifice!" says God in Hosea 6:6. Psalm 51:16-17 says, "For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart; These, O God, You will not despise." God is NOT bloodthirsty. God says, “Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and make thanksgiving your sacrifice to the Most High” (Psalm 50:13-14). Since the destruction of the temple in AD 70, Orthodox Judaism has tended to regard the Old Testament sacrifices as unnecessary. In favor of this point of view, Rabbi David Rosen writes, “Judaism does not accept the idea of vicarious atonement. We can only atone for our own sins and are responsible for our own actions.”

Bible says In Genesis 3:21 ‘And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them.” This was a sign of God's redemptive activity. With the sacrifice of another's life, he clothed Adam and Eve. In Paul's beautifully expressive phrase in Ephesians, it is a picture of how we are "accepted in the Beloved One," Ephesians 1:6. We are clothed with the righteousness of Christ. We are given his standing before the Father. Clothing is not required for God's benefit. It does not make any difference to God that Adam and Eve are naked. In fact, as Hebrews tells us, we are all always naked before God -- everything is naked and open in his sight. It is not God who requires this clothing, nor is it Adam and Eve, though it may have bothered them to be naked before God in their fallen condition, but it is because of the others who would see them that they are clothed. Clothing is for public appearance. God desires that the mark of his acceptance and acknowledgment of them be manifest to the whole universe. That is why Adam and Eve are clothed, and this is the primary purpose of clothing.

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