This word is near and dear to my heart. If you knew my entire life story, you would know that “redeemed” is a word that would characterize the entirety of it.
The definition of the word is this: “compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something).”
My life is full of faults and bad aspects because I’m a sinner… and I have a bombshell for you.
You’re a sinner, too.
We all are. We all do bad things or things that we’re not supposed to do. And even if we only did one wrong thing our entire lives, that one wrong thing would be enough to condemn us because the standard is Jesus (a.k.a perfection). As much as I would like to be perfect, my reality is that I’m not… not even close. That’s why I need a God who is perfect.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
I want to pick up with the verses that I skipped in my last blog post–I told y’all they were a message in and of themselves. For context, I am including more than just verses two through four, but I will make those verses boldfaced.
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called as an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God–which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures–concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and was appointed to be the powerful Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all the Gentiles, including you who are also called by Jesus Christ. To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
When I looked more in-depth at verse two, I realized something so profound. God promised the Gospel (which is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus). He assured us that He would make a way out of the mess that we made for ourselves. The only stipulation is that we have to receive His free gift. We have to choose to accept it.
God promised the Gospel thousands of years before Christ was ever born. In fact, God promised the Gospel before there was ever a need for it.
What do I mean?
Before God created mankind, He knew that we would sin and that we would need redemption. Either He compensated for our faults and bad aspects that He PRE-KNEW we would have or we would die, in this life and eternally in the next.
Before He ever created us, He knew that we would sin and reject Him. He knew that the way that He would save us would be to send His Son to die for our sins and suffer a horrific death… and yet He still chose to create us.
“I [the Lord] chose you before I formed you in the womb…”
He knew us entirely before our existence ever began. Therefore, He knows all of the faults and failures of our entire existences. Yet He created us. Yet He made a way to save us.
“‘Can a person hide in secret places where I cannot see him?”–the Lord’s declaration. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?’–the Lord’s declaration.”
He fills the heavens and the earth with His Presence. Our actions are not hidden from Him. Yet He created us. Yet He made a way to save us.
“No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must given an account.”
Our faults and failures are naked and exposed… nothing hidden. Yet He created us. Yet He made a way to save us.
God created a way for us to be redeemed, and the avenue of our redemption is and always has been Jesus.
So, how is Jesus described in verse three?
“concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh…”
Looking at His Name, “Jesus Christ our Lord,” our eyes are opened to the profoundness of the Gospel message.
We see His deity as well as His humanity. He was fully God, yet He was also fully human. This verse says that He is the Son of God–His deity. This verse also says that He was a descendant of King David according to the flesh–His humanity.
Because the plan that God the Father created for the redemption of humanity was for God the Son to become a man, to be born of a virgin, to live a perfect life, to die the death meant for us, and to raise to life again–defeating death and the grave… so that humanity could also defeat death and the grave.
But do you know what captured me the most after reading these familiar verses once more? I started to think about Jesus’ family tree. Who was in it?
So, I read the lineage of Jesus found in Matthew 1, and I paid a little more attention to who was included. Specifically, I looked at the women who were included in the lineage of Jesus.
- Tamar – a woman who took matters into her own hands instead of trusting God and waiting on Him to take care of her in the midst of terrible circumstances. Instead of waiting on the Lord, she tricked her father-in-law into becoming intimate with her so that she could have a child.
- Rahab – a non-Jew who was also a well-known prostitute
- Ruth – a non-Jew from a place that was called a washpot (i.e. a tub where someone’s feet were washed… full of dirty water… nasty)
- Bathsheba – a woman who cheated on her husband
- Mary – still a sinner but one who was willing to be used by God and to look foolish to the world for His sake
Jesus didn’t just become humanity. He chose to be born into a family tree full of the utmost sin and shame. Why?
I personally believe that He chose to be born into this specific family tree to show His immense love for us… whoever we are… whatever we’ve done. Nothing you’ve ever done or will ever do will cause Jesus not to love you.
“and was appointed to be the powerful Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead.”
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit were all involved. Each were present in this decision of Who would go and how He would go. God the Son took on this role of humanity so that He could save us because of His great LOVE for us.
But His life and death would have been pointless without His resurrection as well.
For it is by His resurrection that we are redeemed. He had to live a perfect life, and He had to die in the place of us… but He also had to conquer death and the grave by being raised to life again. This was and is our compensation for our faults and our bad aspects. This is the only way that we will be citizens of heaven one day and not of hell.
And what do we have to do to receive it?
“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Regardless of our stories… regardless of what we’ve done whether known or unknown by others… regardless of the depth and ugliness and nastiness of our sins… Jesus has redeemed you.
Just confess and believe and claim your redemption.