CHRIST, OUR REDEMPTION – Redemption did not originate with “Green Stamps”! The Plan of Redemption was laid before the foundation of the world, and reveals the true character and purpose of our Heavenly Father!

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Christ, Our Redemption

 

Did you know  that the melody of “The Star Spangled Banner” –  the National Anthem of the United States of America – that melody was once an old British drinking song?  But then, during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key penned those stirring lyrics so familiar to us all, merged them with that old, ale-stained, taproom tune, and gave it a brand new beginning – a total makeover – new birth  as our National Anthem.  Now, how’s that as an example of redemption?

 

American-Flag-and-Eagle

My own, very first, personal, “taste” of redemption came when I was perhaps 4 or 5 years old.  Now, I say “my first taste” because … Does anyone remember S & H Green Stamps?  those stamps you received when you made a purchase of gasoline or some merchandise?  Well, my mom used to recruit me to help her lick (yukk!) entire sheets of S & H Green Stamps. And then we would carefully mount them onto countless, blank pages in her endless supply of premium redemption books.  I sure loved my mom … but I can still taste it!  

 

 

Then, once she had accumulated a humongous stack of books, all warped and bulging, she would gather them together and we’d take them to the S & H redemption store, where she would exchange them – she would redeem    those books of stamps – for various household items that we needed.  It was here that I acquired my fundamental, ground-floor understanding of redemption!

 

But that may not be the best example of true redemption.  Perhaps a more accurate and thorough grasp of the principle of redemption can be found in the old pawn shop.  Have you ever had the experience of pawning or redeeming something?

 

Financial constraints sometimes will prompt an individual to pawn an item, perhaps one of great monetary or sentimental value, in exchange for much-needed cash, or relief from a difficult situation.  There is a specified window of time during which the individual may return and repurchase his possession – may but back – he may redeem that which was originally his own

 

But we’ll find the origin of the concept of redemption in the Old Testament.  Remember?  Jesus said, “The Scriptures testify of Me?”  GOD’s principle of redemption reveals one of the many facets of His character and nature, while it perfectly testifies of the mission and purpose of His Son, Jesus, our Redeemer.

The Statute establishing the principle and practice of redemption is found in Leviticus 25:23-34, and was intended by GOD to plainly flesh-out  in high-definition  one of the primary ministries of the coming Messiah, Who was to become the fulfillment of GOD’s promise of the coming Redeemer.

 

 

Here’s the redemption statute as it pertained to land and property: Lev. 25:23 The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me. V.24 Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land.  V.25 If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold …
The redemption statute also applied to people: Lev 25:47 “Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you   becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger’s family, V.48 after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; V.49 or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him … V.54 And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee – he and his children with him.

 

We want to  take a closer look at what is meant by “the Year of Jubilee”  in a moment, but  did you notice the qualifications of the redeemer?  The redeemer had to be – he had to be – a close blood relative from the redeemed’s own family – a next-of-kin,  or as Scripture calls him,  his “near-kinsman”.

 

We want to  take a closer look at what is meant by “the Year of Jubilee”  in a moment, but  did you notice the qualifications of the redeemer?  The redeemer had to be – he had to be – a close blood relative from the redeemed’s own family – must be a next-of-kin,  or as Scripture calls him,  his “near-kinsman”.

 

In the Biblical application, the redeemer was to step forward on behalf of the debtor, and personally pay the full price of his debt, thus setting him free from the judgment debt against him.  Now, take a peek at this:

 

John 8:34, Jesus is speaking:“Whosoever committeth sin is the slave of sin.” And Romans 3:23 tells us “… all have sinned and fallen short …”  Then, the prophet Ezekiel 18:4 and 18:20 testifies: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”.

 

According to Scripture, all of humanity has sold itself into bondage, into indebtedness to sin, since the fall of our first parents in Eden. “The wages of sin is death” and “without shedding of blood, there is no remission” of sin.  Sin is a capital offense – it’s a blood debt that must be paid.  Furthermore, eternal life in GOD’s Kingdom requires righteousness; but Scripture testifies, “There is none righteous, not one!”  Moreover, at the time of the fall in Eden,  the earth, and the entirety of nature, had also come under sin’s curse, as we see in Genesis 3:17-19.  

 

So the Church in the Wilderness was perpetually reminded, via this redemption statute, of the liberation that the coming Redeemer would deliver thru His life and vicarious death for Adam’s fallen race.  He would purchase back His Creation, pay the redemption price – shedding His own blood, laying down His own life, buying our freedom, redeeming for us our citizenship in His Eternal Kingdom with His own righteousness.  The righteousness of Jesus Christ is our fitness – it’s our ticket, our boarding pass  to heaven and the Earth-Made-New!

 

Note again that God made provision for the liberation of both property and people under His redemption statute, which was prophetic of the complete and total, ultimate  redemption that He would accomplish thru Christ, our Redeemer. 

 

E.G.White wrote in Amazing Grace: “The fall of man filled all heaven with sorrow. . . . The Son of God, heaven’s glorious Commander, was touched with pity for the fallen race. His heart was moved with infinite compassion as the woes of the lost world rose up before Him. But divine love had conceived a plan whereby man might be redeemed. The broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. In all the universe, there was but one who could, in behalf of man, satisfy its claims. Since the divine law is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law, and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin — sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race. . . .”  {AG 42.2}

 

Where  would  we  be,  had He not done so?   Romans 3:23 “… for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” verse 24 “being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”  NKJV 

 

Now, the Year of Jubilee  was a time of corporate redemption:  Leviticus 25:23, 24    28    40.   There were seven cycles of seven years; every seventh year was a Sabbath for the land.  And, at the conclusion of the seventh cycle of seven years, on that 50th year, the Year of Jubilee, all property was to revert to its original owner;  all items that had been purchased over the course of the previous 50 years were returned to the first owners; and every bond-servant was set free. The Jubilee was itself a prophecy, to be fulfilled in the New Earth!

 

So, through God’s Statute of the Jubilee cycle, the full redemption of all of creation was constantly kept before them, because all debts, all indemnities, all indentured servitude – right down to the calculation of the selling price of all property – were reckoned according to the number of years remaining until the reversion, at the coming Jubilee.

 

Now, the Year of Jubilee  was a time of corporate redemption:  Leviticus 25:23, 24    28    40.   There were seven cycles of seven years; every seventh year was a Sabbath for the land.  And, at the conclusion of the seventh cycle of seven years, on that 50th year, the Year of Jubilee, all property was to revert to its original owner;  all property that had been purchased over the course of the previous 50 years was returned to the first owners; and every bond-servant was set free. The Jubilee was itself a prophecy, to be fulfilled in the New Earth!

 

Through the Jubilee cycles, the full redemption of all of creation was constantly kept before them, as all debts, indemnities, and indentured servitude were reckoned according to the number of years remaining until the reversion, at the Jubilee … right down to the calculation of the selling price of property.

 

Now, the crucial requirement of the Redeemer – that he must be a close blood relative – is one of several compelling pieces of evidence which substantiate the fact that Jesus was, and is verily, our Close Blood Relative, our Near Kinsman.  How so?  Because He partook of our very same flesh and blood, Adam’s flesh, becoming in actuality, as the Apostle Paul testifies, the “Second Adam”, thus assuming Adam’s position as the Representative of the corporate human family. Therefore, as our Near Kinsman and Elder Brother, Jesus is at this very moment, legally and rightfully eligible, and is most qualified  to redeem us from our blood-debt  under God’s Law.  Have you claimed it yet?  It’s yours!
 

The church of the world, however, introduced in the year 1854 the spurious teaching that not only was Jesus an immaculate conception, as Scripture clearly teaches, but so too was His mother,  although there is not one shred of Biblical evidence to support any notion of this sort.  To illustrate exactly what bearing, what consequences,  this false doctrine of human devising would present in God’s Plan of Redemption, consider this:  if it were true – if both Jesus’ mother (Mary) and  His Father (the Spirit of God) were divine beings, then the product, the offspring, of such a union would not – could not possibly –  possess one single cell of humanity – not a shred of Adam’s DNA – and thus could in no conceivable way be related to the human race, by any stretch of  logic or genetics.

In this scenario, humanity could not have been redeemed by Jesus – if Jesus was not flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood, He could not possibly be our Redeemer!  The redeemer had to be a blood relative!  Reconciliation with Our Heavenly Father would therefore never have been attained, and you and I – the entire human race – everyone who has ever drawn a breath – we’re in one      stone-cold-serious   pickle – a monumental dilemma   of “forever” proportion!  

 

But I’m not buying it – not for a nano-second – and I pray that neither will you.  According to your Bible and mine, that chicken won’t fly.  There is not a speck of Biblical testimony, nor any other criteria on this earth to substantiate it – other than the unilateral proclamation of Pope Pius IX – to support this falsehood.  The mother of Jesus, Mary, was fully flesh-and-blood; Adam’s flesh, just like you and me. And herein lies the consistency of  Scripture.  Because, according to Scripture, in the womb of the mother of Jesus, divinity and humanity were reunited – and they were reconciled in One, in “Immanuel”, in the One called by heaven “God-with-us” – or more literally, “God-in-us”, Jesus Christ;  and the unity of God’s Creation was, in this manner, forever restored, in and thru The Son of Man, Who,  more than 80 times referred to Himself as “The Son of Man”, so thoroughly did He identify with  humanity!

 

Had He not been born of a  flesh-and-blood woman, as Hebrews testifies that He was – If Jesus were not flesh-of-our-flesh, bone-of-our-bone - then He would have no justification to refer to Himself as “The Son of Man”, and He could not possibly -  by any stretch of logic – be our Redeemer! And that would have rendered the One Whom Scripture calls “The Truth” a fraud and a liar!  

 

Jesus On the Mount

Again: If Jesus is not flesh-of-our-flesh, bone-of-our-bone, He could never, ever have been our Redeemer!    According to GOD’s Redemption Statute, it was imperative that the redeemer be a close blood relative!  Reconciliation with Our Heavenly Father would therefore never have been attained, and you and I – and all the human race – everyone who has ever drawn a breath – we are in  one    stone-cold-serious   pickle – a monumental dilemma   of “forever” proportions! 

 

As we consider the 4000 years of mankind’s de-generation,   from Creation to the Savior, we can more fully appreciate the depth to which Adam’s race had fallen by the time Jesus put sandals on the ground;   as well as the depth to which the Redeemer`willingly descended to begin His work of reclaiming,  of restoring – of purchasing back again – of  redeeming Adam’s fallen race.

 

In this light, the dire need for redemption becomes a stark reality, illuminating a fuller understanding of the exact nature,  of the human-ness that our Savior “put on” – His mother’s flesh, carnal, human flesh – yours and my flesh – Adam’s very substance – the flesh that so desperately needs    to be redeemed.

 

God has a purpose in everything He does, and in everything He asks of us.  We don’t always have a thorough grasp of what that purpose might be, which is all the more reason that we must be daily, earnestly, prayerfully, digging into His Word, absorbing, assimilating, mining, so to speak,  all of His Truth, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Whom  He has sent and ordained  to lead the earnest seeker into all understanding.  Are  you    an earnest seeker?

 

Our redemption lies not in coupons or gift certificates, gift cards;    not in licking and sticking  S&H Green Stamps,  and trading-in wrinkled books for footstools and table lamps!  Our ransom was not paid – as you see on TV – in stacks of unmarked bills,   stuffed into a duffel bag.  I Peter 1:18 says: “We’ve been redeemed, not by corruptible things, such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ,  as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot”.

 

“But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”  I Corinthians 1:30.  Paul testifies that not only is Christ our Redeem-ER; but HE is our redemption. He is not only the One who laid down the payment;  but He became – He is  the Payment itself.  He paid our sin debt, and He is the price of our ransom.  He became the embodiment, sum and substance, the currency of our redemption! 

 

I John 2:2 “And He IS the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.”  His blood, His life.  Jesus is,  now,  forever united with us in His glorified human flesh.  He “was made our Redemption.”

 

Ephesians 1:7 “In Whom we have redemption thru His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” A blood debt owed;  a blood debt paid!

 

Our redemption is from our bondage, our slavery, our debt of sin – the penalty for which is everlasting death (Romans 6:23), eternal separation.  And so, we hear the cry of Our Redeemer,  Who stood in our judgment, endured our own execution, experiencing fully the eternal separation that we have rightly earned. Hear His voice. Listen: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!”

 

Ephesians 1:7 “In Whom we have redemption thru His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”   A blood debt owed;  a blood debt paid!

 

Our redemption is from our bondage, our slavery, our debt of sin – the penalty for which is everlasting death (Romans 6:23), eternal separation.  And so, we hear the cry of Our Redeemer,  Who stood in our judgment, endured our own execution, experiencing fully the eternal separation that we have rightly earned. Hear His voice. Listen: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!”

 

Quoting from the book If the Foundations Be Destroyed, by Chick Silliby: “By the life-giving power of Christ’s blood alone, were we snatched from that landslide of humanity, plunging to hell, and made to sit in heavenly places.  If we could fully comprehend, this side of eternity, the infinite difference between heaven and hell, we would fall on our faces and thank God after reading every reference to redemption in Scripture.”

 

Here it is!  II Corinthians 5:19 “God was in Christ, reconciling (redeeming) the world unto Himself”  God was in Christ!  Remember Jesus’ words: “I am in My Father and My Father is in Me”; then He told Philip, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father”,  and  finally,“I and My Father are One.

 

His desire, His purpose now, is to abide in us thru His indwelling Spirit.

 

Galatians 4:4, 5  “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son … to redeem those who were under the law (that would be referring to the law of sin and death), that we might receive the adoption as sons.”  NKJV  Is not adoption an ultimate redemption?  If the wild branch is grafted into the living vine, is that not the redemption of that branch?  The Apostle Paul states that we, the wild branches, have been grafted into Jesus Christ, the True Vine.

 

GOD’s redemption of mankind, in and thru Jesus, includes the complete removal of the curse on the earth and all of nature, which we found earlier in Genesis 3:17-19.  Jesus not only took all  flesh-and-blood humanity to redemption at the Cross, but He also redeemed the earth, all of nature,  all His Creation, as was symbolized by His wearing of the crown of thorns at Calvary.

 

Now, when something is sealed, that transaction is completed – it’s a done deal.  Listen to what Paul wrote, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to the church at Ephesus:“In Him we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who (the Spirit) is given  as a pledge  of our inheritance and redemption”.   We all want a guarantee.  There it is!  There’s your “lock”; there’s God’s promise, sealed by the gift of His Spirit.  Jesus called out, “It is finished!”

 

Again, from E.G.White: “It is impossible for finite minds to comprehend the work of redemption. Its mystery exceeds human knowledge; yet he who passes from death to life realizes that it is a divine reality. The beginning of redemption we may know here through a personal experience. Its results   reach through the eternal ages.”  {EGW Mar 70.5}  

 

And Romans 8:23 speaks of “the redemption of the body”.  We were redeemed at Calvary, when Jesus was the human race, standing in our judgment on the Cross; and that Redemption becomes ours when we choose to be one with Jesus – no turning back.  However we will come into full possession of His completed Redemption at His Coming when, whether we are resurrected from the grave or we’re alive and translated to meet Him, as Paul, under inspiration,  writes: “this corruptible will put on incorruption, and this mortal will put on immortality.  Death is swallowed up in victory!”

 

Finally, we ourselves are to be  redeemers!  Yes, us!   Paul warns, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”  Ephesians 5:15  And again in Colossians 4:5, we are counseled to be busy “redeeming the time”  – making the most of, or maximizing, all available opportunities, with the remaining time entrusted to us, before the closing of probation.   “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” 

 

Why? Because, as Peter tells us, the adversary is on a tear;  he’s gone ballistic!  He’s like a rip-roaring lion “… seeking whom he may devour, knowing that his time is short.”  Time is running out, for him … and for us!   Our time also is short.

 

Perhaps we can effectively illustrate Satan’s stealth and cunning by likening his sinister intent and purpose to that of the bird of prey, below, silently stalking his  unsuspecting, next victim …

vulture & prey

 

Should we not be as diligent and persevering  as our adversary in finishing the Gospel work that’s been entrusted to us  by Our Redeemer?  (The Feast of Trumpets clearly illustrates, as does Ezekiel. 9, that Judgment on the Church will close before the final, 11th hour work of ingathering commences for the world.)

 

“Oh, the mystery of redemption!  the love of God  for a world that did not love Him!”  {AG 42.3}  

 

Revelation 5:9  “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy … for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood.’”  NKJV

 
 

Will you be among that number … among the Redeemed … standing on “the Sea of Glass mingled with fire”?  Have you claimed your redemption in Jesus Christ?  Let’s begin the process right now …

 

Let’s bow our heads in prayer:  Our Heavenly Father –

 

How I pray that we all will be among that number … among the Redeemed … standing on “the Sea of Glass mingled with fire”.   May every soul in this place have claimed your redemption in the Redeemer you’ve sent, your own Son, Jesus Christ. 

 

And may this illustration of Christ, Our Redeemer, be indelibly-impressed in our minds and hearts as we leave here today, that we will share the good news of Your great mercy and grace, of reconciliation and redemption in The Son of Man.

 

In the holy, worthy name of Jesus, the Christ, Yahusha HaMashiach we pray,

 

Amen!

 

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