Do you have a favorite word in the Bible? We may have different ideas about which is the very best word in the entire Bible. Love, salvation, blessing, joy, peace, hope… and I’m sure there are many more! Nevertheless, there is one word that encompasses all of the words that I just listed. It’s a word that shows love, is wrapped up in salvation, blesses, and, on top of that, gives joy, peace and hope.
Before I tell you the very best word in Bible, let me ask you a few questions. What would you do, how far would you go or how much would you pay if your child was kidnapped? If your child got in trouble or was lost or being held in a foreign country? Would you do everything in your power to satisfy whatever it would take to return your child home to you?
I’m sure your answer is the same as mine. I would do whatever it takes.
The price that is being demanded to set your child free is the cost of Redemption. Yes, Redeem is my favorite word in the Bible. I think it’s so meaningful because Redeem is the Gospel in one word.
Redeem means to restore or purchase, to clear a debt or to buy back something that once belonged to you. To redeem inherently implies that there is sacrifice involved. Someone owes a debt and another person comes along and pays it off. Sacrifice.
The picture of redemption in the Bible
The Old Testament Israelites understood the meaning of redemption. In fact, if a woman became a widow, a relative in the extended family could step in as the “Kinsman Redeemer”. He would purchase the land that belonged to her husband and marry her (caring for her and freeing her from a life of widowhood). The book of Ruth tells the beautiful story of redemption after painful circumstances left both Naomi and Ruth as widows. The story illustrates the idea of someone making the sacrifice to pay the price necessary to bring restoration to a person.
Jesus, our Redeemer
Sin has separated us from God. We have each sinned against God, creating a debt that is just too enormous for us to pay. And so, we languish in captivity, unable to free ourselves. Yet God loves us so much (John 3:16) that He would go to any length to redeem us. He would pay any price to purchase us back and free us from the sin that holds us captive. We can’t pay but our Redeemer can and will pay whatever the cost!
OK… what was that price? Hebrews 9:22 tells us “…without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness for sin.” The price is blood. Jesus was willing to be nailed to a cross and shed His own blood in order to satisfy the payment that was required to reconcile us to God. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:6, “…Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men….”
Jesus paid the price to free us from captivity. How can we do anything else but believe and humbly give our lives to Him in return?
Redeem. The word that encompasses everything Jesus did for us. My favorite word in the Bible!
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1