Summary: I have been redeemed, bought back from the pits of sin, released from the cage of bondage, and given a new life, all because of the blood of Jesus.
THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD
By Pastor James May
Isaiah 51:1, "Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged."
There’s a little chorus that we used to sing a lot when I was younger and it went something like this:
I’m Redeemed by Love Divine
Glory, Glory Christ is mine
All to him I now resign
I have been, I have been redeemed
There is something about that term “Redeemed” that brings joy to our hearts. We have been saved, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, given eternal life, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus and there is no greater miracle, and no greater gift that mankind could ever receive than to be redeemed.
The old song “He Set Me Free” contains a verse that says,
Once like a bird in prison I dwelt
No freedom from the sorrow I felt
Then Jesus came and listened to me
And Glory to God, He set me Free
Freedom – what a wonderful feeling it is to be free from sin; born again a new man. Behold all the old things have passed away and all things have become new!
A story told by Paul Lee Tan illustrates the meaning of redemption.
He said that 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. Pastor Gordon asked the young boy, "Son, where did you get those birds?" The boy replied, "I trapped them out in the field." "Well, what are you going to do with them?" "I’m going to play with them until I get tired of them, and then I guess I’ll just feed them to an old cat we have at home." The preacher offered to buy them but the boy said, "Mister, you don’t want them, they’re just little old wild birds and they 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!"
I thank God that he lifted my out of the miry pit of sin and gave me a firm foundation. Every one of us was caged up in Satan’s trap. We were worthless creatures, without any redeeming qualities whatsoever. But thank God that He saw something in us worth dying for.
God chose you and God chose me! He loved you and I when we were unlovable and dead in sin, and he loved us so much that he gave his only Son to redeem us back to him.
In the beginning we were created in God’s own image. We were created as the apple of his eye and we were created to serve him, love him and worship him. We were created to live forever in one-on-one relationship with God but then sin entered the picture and all of that tender loving care that God had taken in creating us was nullified as Satan laid claim to every living soul.
Even though we are created in God’s image, we lived for the devil. Even though we were meant to soar in heavenly places, we chose to scratch around in the filth of this world. I know that we aren’t the ones who brought sin into the world. Adam did that by listening to Satan’s lies, but I believe that if Adam had not failed God, I would have, and if I had not brought sin into the world, then you would have.
We still rebel against God all too often right now so we can’t point a finger of accusation at Adam and Eve when we know that we are no better than they.
Because of sin, we were snatched from our place in God and put into a prison with bars that could not be broken. Our feet were destined to walk in a world that just keeps pulling us deeper into sin. Our heart was destroyed and our every thought was for evil.