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Jesus, Redeemer

As Christians, most of us are aware that Jesus redeemed us from this world, that with his own flesh and blood he bought us back when he died at Calvary.

But exactly why did he have to die to do it? Why was his sacrifice necessary in order for God to get us back from Satan? What exactly did Jesus undo by his shed bled?

Gen. 1:27-28: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

We see that Man, created in the image of God, had dominion. Over every living thing, Man was Lord.

Sound familiar?

Of course. The man the Scriptures call "the second Adam", Jesus, is now Lord.

But God created Man in His image. God is spirit, and the image He created Man in was His own.

Adam originally had spirit. Until this spirit died when he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam was Lord.

Gen. 2:15-17: "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

What died? Did Adam's body and his soul, his "breath life", did they die? No, Adam's body was breathing for another 900 years.

The created part of Adam, the spirit, the source of the power he needed to function as Lord had died.

Rom. 6:16: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"

When Adam sinned, he not only died, but he also became servant of sin.

Who is the master of sin? The Devil, Satan.

2 Cor. 4:3-4: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

Here Satan is referred to as "the god of this world" because of his influence. He wields this influence by blinding people into sin, by tricking people into obedience. People like Adam and Eve, people like you and I when we allow him.

I say allow, because today we have a choice. More on that later.

How did Satan get this power?

Who you obey, you are the servant of, whether sin unto death, as Adam did, or God unto righteousness and life. In tempting Jesus, the Devil revealed his power, as well as how he acquired it:

Luke 4:5-8: "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

"And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

"If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Jesus was a man. He could have been awed by the Devil's power, and thought, "Oh, wow, look at what I could have now."

Just as you and I have been tempted with instant gratification, Jesus was being tempted with the glory, the dominion of earth, for the Devil said, "For that is delivered unto me."

How was it delivered?

We just read "whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are."

Adam had yeilded to Satan's temptation to sin, we all have. Adam had dominion of the kingdoms, but gave it away.

When we sin, we still give it away. Without God on our side, we have no choice. Without God, we are taken captive at Satan's will. What strength of character Jesus demonstrated!

Heb. 4:15-16: "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

2 Tim. 2:25-26: "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

"And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."

See? Without God, we have no choice, we are ensnared because without God, we do not have the tools to fight. With God, we have Jesus, who went through every little and big temptation.

Here is a big chance for Jesus to be ensnared, and the Devil offers him the whole enchilada, a chance to be Satan's underruler. "All shall be thine."

This was more blatant than the tricks Satan uses with most of us. But the reward offered, "All this shall be thine," was much greater.

What did Jesus say? "Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Score one for the good guys. Jesus refused to be sidetracked, he refused to allow his focus to go away from God. As a result of his blood being pure and his heart never obeying Satan, Satan had no right to the blood of Jesus.

Was it easy? One imagines not. Jesus loved, Jesus longed, Jesus felt pain like any other man.

He wept over the death of his best friend, Lazarus. He grieved over the passing of his cousin, John the baptist. He hungered many times, even during the temptations of the wilderness he would have been sorely ravenous.

When he was betrayed by Judas, how did that make him feel? Was he indifferant?

No. He was tempted in every way, and he had as much temptation, he was touched with the feelings of our infirmities at every level, that we would have been.

What strength of will, of trust in God, did he have to bear hours and hours of beatings, scourgings and humiliation at the hands of Jew and Gentile alike? If he groaned from expectation of the coming trials, what were his prayers like when the Romans were torturing him?

When the evil, angry mob beset him and demanded "Crucify him, crucify him," he had already been beaten and scourged.

By the time he was dragged to Calvary, his face was so battered he could not be recognized as a man.

When the spikes, thick enough to hold the thin bones and flesh of hands and feet, were driven into nerves that caused stimulation of pain to every other nerve in his body, what dedication kept him hanging there?

When he was left there for hours, battered, bruised beyond recognition, every nerve in his body given over to pain, what kept his steeled for our sakes? He had done no wrong, it was not his own sin he was paying for.

Sure he knew, "It was written." Sure he was the son of God, created with perfect, sinless, innocent blood. But what love for God, what love for Mankind it must have taken for him not to waver, when at any time he copuld have said, "Father, enough," and tens of thousands of angels would have rescued him.

Rom. 6:23a: "For the wages of sin is death;..."

That's right. The consequence of Adam giving in to sin was immediate spiritual death, plus the flesh and breath succumbing years later. Jesus must have driven this into every fibre of his being to keep hanging there to pay this debt. Only one death had no claim on could pay the price for any other than themselves.

The wages of sin is death.

For Adam, being close to genetic perfection even after sin entered, it was centuries later. For us, its a few decades at best.

Either way, we have a debt, and that debt is death.

Col. 2:13-15: "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

"And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."

We were dead, nothing but rotting flesh that would be in the grave in a few decdes, but Christ quickened us. Through his works, through his sufferings, through his perserverence to see it through we were made alive spiritually. We again have the spirit Adam lost.

Because we were dead, servants to sin, we were controlled by principalities and powers, captive at their will.

Now though we are servants to Christ and to God.

We are forgiven.

Being forgiven, we are also redeemed, no longer property of the god of this world.

Ex. 15:13: "Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation."

At first, only Israel had been redeemed, but they gave themselves back to idolotry and sin in the wilderness. Thus, through laws and ordinances, God gave them a way to be redeemed through sacrifices and offerings.

2 Sam. 7:23-24: "And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?

"For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God."

This "confirmation" was the covenant, with its laws and ordinances:

1 Chron. 16:13-19: "O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

"He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

"Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;

"Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;

"And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,

"Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;

"When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it."

These laws and ordinances were not just the first ten we call The Ten Commandments. There were over 900 of them. Israel was responsible to do all of them, thus they are said to be "the handwriting of ordinances that were against us."

But Christ shed his blood on the cross, nailing these ordinances to his cross.

"Redemption" means "to trade something of value to gain posession of something you want."

We used to gather S&H Green Stamps as proofs of purchase and redeem them for toasters and pot holders.

You may save bars codes and send them to Kellogg's to redeem them for a rooster t-shirt.

Jesus Christ hung on a cross on the hill called "The Place of the Skulls," where he shed his life, to reddem us both from the Law andfrom sin, and therefore from this world.

Gal. 3:12-14: "And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

"That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

See? We are redeemed from the Law and through faith in and of Christ, we receive that spirit of promise. As Adam lost spirit unto death, through Christ we gain spirit unto life.

This spirit is like the Green Stamps, or like the UPC, it is a proof of purchase.

Eph. 1:13-14: "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

"Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

Jesus earned all the Green Stamps he needed to waltz right in and claim us.

When the Body is full, he will.

Until then, we are no longer forced to serve sin, no longer forced to be taken captive at Satan's will. We now havve a choice, because Jesus paid the price.

We have been redeemed from the god of this world. Now our motto is, "It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

No more are we servants of sin unto death, but of God unto righteousness and unto life.

Rom. 8:12-14: "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

It is as sons that we prevail, it is as sons that we walk in the spirit, it is as sons that we manifest ourselves as the redeemed of God, saved through the blood of Jesus Christ.

This is what Jesus earned for us when his body was bruised beyond endurance and his blood poured out from the thrust of a Roman spear. This is what his voluntary agony purchased.

We are Christ's, he has paid the wages of our sins, and Christ is God's.

Therefore we belong to God, and therefore we are no longer owned by this world.

Let us lift up our lives to God, believe these things and act like it. Let's live in gratitude for what Jesus did for us.

Amen?

AMEN!

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