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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Redeemed.

Redemption is one of those "Sunday School words" that I tend to gloss over in Bible studies or while listening to sermons. It just sounds so, um, theological.

I've mentioned before that I started BSF this September for the Isaiah study, and to say that it's been difficult would be a vast understatement. Besides the challenge of making myself be disciplined enough to actually do the study, the book of Isaiah is just overwhelmingly depressing. There are smatterings of hope here and there, but the overall picture is of God's judgment (of both his people and their oppressors) and wrath. Reading chapter after chapter of torment and destruction is just tough to swallow.

However, this week included chapter 35, which is all about the redemption of God's people and the restoration that He offers. Redemption, by definition, means the recovery of ownership by a specified sum. Thanks to the New Testament, we know that Jesus came to redeem us, taking back ownership (which was given to sin, thanks to Adam and Eve) by the sum of his own humiliating death on a cross.

I can't tell you how many times I cheapen the gospel by my act of glossing over the concept of redemption. Jesus came to earth and willingly died in my place before I even existed, much less was aware of my need for such a savior. It should've been me who was forced to pay my own debt, but He paid it instead. What a huge gift. How am responding to this gift? How are you responding to this gift?

Even today, God still uses the circumstances of life to redeem us and bring us closer to Himself. I thought I posted this song about a year ago, but I can't find it in my archives, so I want to make sure I post it now. This is one of my very favorite songs from one of my very favorite groups (Selah), and it means something new to me every time I hear it. Ha, I even tried to sing it at church awhile back, and I couldn't even finish the song I was so emotional. Embarrassing. I digress. You can check it out on YouTube (or buy the whole album; it's so great) because the song is just gorgeous, but if that's not an option for you right now, here are the lyrics:

Unredeemed

The cruelest words, the coldest heart
The deepest wounds, the endless dark
The lonely ache, the burning tears
The bitter nights, the wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart
But we know these are

[Chorus]
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
They may be unfulfilled, they may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see it will not be
Unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every life that gave up hope

We live in the shadow of the fall
But the cross says these are all …

[Chorus]

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
They may be unfulfilled, they may be unrestored
But you never know the miracles the Father has in store
Just watch and see it will not be
Just watch and see it will not be

Unredeemed.

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