Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Ephesians 1:7-8, NIV
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

Blessings, blessings and more blessings!  As if grace and peace and being chosen to have life and every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms weren't enough . . . we also find the gift of redemption and forgiveness and wisdom and understanding lavishly handed to us.  Has there ever been anyone in your life that just seems to give and give and give to you or anyone you might know?  Anyone you know who just loves to shower you with gifts without any expectation of getting something in return?  And, I mean excessively so!  To the point of embarrassment!  My guess is that for most of us, probably not.  Most of us probably know, however, someone who tends to give more willingly than others.  We all know someone whom we can say, "They're just so giving."  The truth is, none of us can out-give God.  He is the ultimate, unmatched champion Giver! 

Redemption in this case simply means to pay a ransom price for the freedom of another, particularly a slave or a prisoner.  Friends, we're the slaves.  We are the prisoners.  And the price paid was the blood of Jesus.  His life, the blood that ran through His veins, was poured out so that you and I could be set free from the sin that enslaves us and holds us prisoner to sin's demanding laws.  The Levitical system of sacrifices required that something must die, blood must be shed, in order to the pay the penalty for sin of the people.  When an animal was sacrificed on the altar, it was extremely messy . . . blood was everywhere . . . it was ugly.  And when the fat and meat were burned, everyone could smell it and it happened all day long, everyday at the temple.  It was meant to be extremely messy and ugly so that the people would be reminded of how sin destroys life.  When Jesus came and died on the cross, He died once for all.  No more sacrifice is necessary.  We have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.  The price has been paid and we no longer have to live in slavery to sin . . . a prisoner held captive by the enemy of our souls. 

Forgiveness is ours in Jesus Christ!  Top that all off with all the wisdom (i.e. knowledge that sees things as they really are) and understanding (i.e. discernment that leads to right action) you could possibly need in this life if you only ask. (Proverbs 2:2-6, James 1:5)  These riches of grace have been lavished, LAVISHED! on us!  When we mess up, He forgives.  When we falter, He forgives.  When we fall, He forgives.  When we deliberately sin, He forgives.  You cannot out-sin God's lavish grace for you! (Romans 5:20)  This all comes at an incalculable cost.  The One who gave you life, gave His own that you might live in freedom! "Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people -- free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds.  And not just barely free, either.  Abundantly free!" Ephesians 1:7-8, MSG



Anonymous said...

Kerry these posts are a blessing to me. Chris and I were just having a discussion on the difference between being blessed and being lucky. He always says...."I am so lucky" and I say..."We are so blessed."

Thank you for sharing so freely.

P.S. I love the Message Bible. I find myself reading and really...enjoying and understanding!!!


NRIGirl said...

Good one! Thank you for the inspiring post.

Would you care for some Coffee with Jesus?!

~ NRIGirl

Sweet J said...

Reminding us of the smell of sacrifice really adds power to the clean up job Christ does for us. "Washed by the blood and made clean" makes much more sense when you remember just how unclean we are without Him.