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On Redemption

By Jamie Donne

The Whole Gospel Blog | March 21, 2016

From the moment Adam and Eve stepped outside of God’s glorious plan in the garden, God was enacting a redemptive plan for all of creation. God led Israel out of slavery and into the Promised Land and gave them a pattern for life and worship. God was redeeming His people and all the while imparting a new paradigm of work, worship, and relationship. The prophets reminded the people of Israel of God’s plan, and for thousands of years, God illustrated His heart to redeem His people.

Part of the system of worship involved the Israelites offering a blood sacrifice for their sins to the priests. This sacrifice was enough for a time, but they walked away from the temple courts knowing they would soon return. Such was the grip of sin in the world.

This familiar system was building the crescendo for the awaited moment when Jesus would come to offer Himself as the only sufficient sacrifice. The Bible says that this former system of bulls and goats was simply a shadow of what worship would look like when a truly pure sacrifice was given.

Now our guilty hearts—full of sin and rebellion and condemnation—have been sprinkled clean by the blood of Jesus. We walk reconnected with the One who created us and His image is restored in us.

On the cross, Jesus reaped the sin that humanity sowed. He redeemed us from the wages of death that we earned through sin. The Bible says that Jesus is the one who guarantees a better promise; we now receive grace and the riches of Jesus Christ. The Message translation puts it this way:

If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God. —Hebrews 9:11-15 (emphasis mine)

Jesus restores a broken relationship between us and God and He redeems the whole of the good creation. Now that we’ve been made clean by the blood of Jesus, we are invited to live our entire lives as a reflection of that.

The blood of Jesus “cleans up” our relationships with our roommates and family members, our least favorite classes, and the deep tragedies in the world.

The blood of Jesus gives us a part to play. We live all out for God, dreaming about how our neighborhoods, careers, campuses, families, art—everything—can reveal the goodness of creation and the good God who made it. We are freed from our own efforts, and instead we partner with the One who laid down His life for the entire world.

In a declaration of how truly wonderful Jesus is, the author of Hebrews writes, “You’re God and on the throne for good; your rule makes everything right” (Hebrews 1:8, The Message).

The rule of God’s Kingdom brought about by Jesus truly transforms everything. It changes us and the world around us.
Jesus is on the throne and this makes everything right—hatred in our hearts, theater productions, macroeconomics, education systems, families, the way we see our own bodies, creation itself, relationships—all transformed in the rule and reign of God’s Kingdom.

Jesus redeems us and we live all out for God, reimagining the day when He will come again to make all things new.

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Jamie Donne ministers to college students at Washington & Jefferson College in a partnership between the CCO and the Washington Campus Mission Board.