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Summary: Why are we taking four weeks to study the Cross of Christ? Have you ever used Google Maps? You can see the map using a street view, satellite view or the regular map with lines and street names. All three are of the same area, but it gets confusing to loo

Purpose: To explain the impact the Cross has on our lives.

Aim: I want the listener to see himself as a possession of Jesus Christ.

INTRODUCTION: Why are we taking four weeks to study the Cross of Christ?

Have you ever used Google Maps? You can see the map using a street view, satellite view or the regular map with lines and street names. All three are of the same area, but it gets confusing to look at all three at once.

“It is the same with the words used to describe the death of Jesus Christ. Each word, like [propitiation, redemption], reconciliation, or justification, is accurate and correct, but each word does not give the complete picture. To see the whole we need to place one ‘layer’ one top of the other, but that is sometimes confusing—we cannot see the trees for the whole! So we separate out each splendid concept and discover that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.” [1]

I. What is Redemption?

REDEMPTION ἀπολύτρωσις apolutrōsis; from ἀπολυτρόω apolutroō ( to release on payment of ransom); a release effected by payment of ransom:—redemption (9), release (1). [2]

So, there are two actions that make up redemption.

A. A payment—a ransom

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

B. A release—freedom

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

Peter combines these two ideas: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; ” (1 Peter 3:18).

When a person is kidnapped it is often so that money can be extorted. The criminals are looking for a payment in order to grant freedom.

A story told by Paul Lee Tan illustrates the meaning of redemption:

“When A. J. Gordon was pastor of a church in Boston, he met a young boy in front of the sanctuary carrying a rusty cage in which several birds fluttered nervously.

Gordon inquired,‘Son, where did you get those birds?’

The boy replied, ‘I trapped them out in the field.’

‘What are you going to do with them?’

‘I’m going to play with them, and then I guess I’ll just feed them to an old cat we have at home.’

Gordon offered to buy them, and the lad exclaimed, ‘Mister, you don’t want them, they’re just little old wild birds and can’t sing very well.’

Gordon replied, ‘I’ll give you $2 for the cage and the birds.’

‘Okay, it’s a deal, but you’re making a bad bargain.’

The exchange was made and the boy went away whistling, happy with his shiny coins. Gordon walked around to the back of the church property, opened the door of the small wire coop, and let the struggling creatures soar into the blue.

The next Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ’s coming to seek and to save the lost—paying for them with His own precious blood.

‘That boy told me the birds were not songsters,’ said Gordon, ‘but when I released them and they winged their way heavenward, it seemed to me they were singing, ‘Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!’

You and I have been held captive to sin, but Christ has purchased our pardon and set us at liberty. When a person has this life-changing experience, he will want to sing, ‘Redeemed, Redeemed, Redeemed!’” [3]

II. Why do we Need Redemption?

“In his book Great Themes of the Bible, Louis Albert Banks told of the time D.L. Moody visited a prison called ‘The Tombs’ to preach to the inmates. After he had finished speaking, Moody talked with a number of men in their cells. He asked each prisoner this question, ‘What brought you here?’ Again and again he received replies like this: ‘I don’t deserve to be here.’ ‘I was framed.’ ‘I was falsely accused.’ ‘I was given an unfair trial.’ Not one inmate would admit he was guilty.

“Finally, Moody found a man with his face buried in his hands, weeping. ‘ And what’s wrong, my friend?’ he inquired. The prisoner responded, ‘My sins are more than I can bear.’ Relieved to find at least one man who would recognize his guilt and his need of forgiveness, the evangelist exclaimed, ‘Thank God for that!’ Moody then had the joy of pointing him to a saving knowledge of Christ—a knowledge that released him from his shackles of sin.

What an accurate picture of the two contrasting attitudes spoken of in Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the publican! As long as the sinner claims innocence and refuses to acknowledge his transgressions before the Lord, he does not receive the blessings of redemption. But when he pleads guilty and cries out, ‘Lord, be merciful to me a sinner,’ he is forgiven. God’s pardon is available to everyone, but it is experienced only by those who admit guilt and trust Christ. To be ‘found,’ a person must first recognize that he is ‘lost.’” [4]

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