29 May, 2015 3. Redemption – an explanation of God’s plan
Have you (or your finger) ever been physically stuck somewhere, and needed to call for help? Who helped you, what did they do, and how did you feel when they did (happy or embarrassed)?
A look at the Bible
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation — if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven…
The Apostle Paul, from his letter to the Colossians (Colossians 1:21-23)
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…
The Apostle Paul, from his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15:3-4
What does the word ‘redemption’ mean?
Looking at Colossians 1:21-23,
(a) why were we alienated (separated) from God?
(b) How did he make our redemption possible?
(c) What is the result of this for us and God (the reason why he did it)?
Looking at 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, this mentions the additional detail of resurrection. Why is it important that Jesus came back to life?
Firstly, (noting the words ‘…according to the Scriptures’) Jesus had predicted that this would happen — as also does the Old Testament (E.g. see Isaiah 53:10-11).
Secondly, it served to prove that what he had said and done was true. His resurrection demonstrated in a physical way the truth of the spiritual claim he made (that he had died for our sins). This is the most important point.
Thirdly, he modelled the final resurrection of all who are God’s children. Jesus was the first to be raised back to life in an immortal body, in the way that the Bible says all with faith in God will eventually be. Jesus is thus the ‘prototype’ and first example of what will happen at the resurrection of the dead at the end of our current history
(see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 for a description of that resurrection).
What is your response to what God has done for you?
Do you think it important that we share this message with others? If people don’t seem interested, how might we stir their interest? What caused you to consider this message?
Dear God, thank you for not abandoning us the moment we made our first selfish choice — and also every time we have been selfish since. Thank you for loving us, and giving us every chance to be forgiven and restored as your friends.
Thank you that our sin is forgiven as a gift, received through our believing request, all because of what Jesus did. Thank you for the eternal hope you have given us. We could never have earned it ourselves. Help us to appreciate this so we will live every day with gratitude.
In Jesus name we pray