Last week’s column highlighted the wonderful doctrine of redemption—the marketplace transaction whereby Jesus Christ purchased our freedom from sin with the tiny red coins from His own veins. It’s a great story, and its applications to our lives are many.

First, it reassures us that our sin will never jeopardize our relationship with God. The fear of discovery and the resultant dread of rejection are some of the deepest anxieties of the human heart. We hide and excuse our failings, lest we get found out. Redemption tells me God already knows the very worst about me, and He chose to redeem me anyway. He came to get me at my very worst. Furthermore, the redeemer in OT culture was a role played by the next of kin. Boaz was a close relative of Ruth’s family. Israel was God’s firstborn son. Hosea was Gomer’s husband. Your redemption tells you this is how God sees Himself in relation to you: He is your next of kin.

Second, it tells us who (rather, “whose”) we are. In the ancient world, the beneficiary of redemption would become permanently indebted to the redeemer. This is why Israel is sometimes pictured as a bondservant to Yahweh. Proprietary rights were His via redemption. It’s the same in the NT: God owns us because He bought us with His own blood (1 Cor 6:20). In the wonderful words of the Heidelberg Catechism: “What is your only comfort in life and death? Answer: That I am not my own but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.”

Third, it changes our perspective on addiction and poverty. Redemption reminds me that I am no better than the homeless addict I see on the street. In fact, I was the homeless addict. I am the forgiven whore. I am the ex-convict. Combined with the fact that God owns me and everything I have, this puts a whole new perspective on who is responsible to help the poor, the outcast, and the enslaved.

Fourth, it gives us great hope for our culture. Christmas and Easter, for example, were originally pagan festivals, taken over by early Christians and infused with biblical meaning. That’s not cause for alarm; it’s a call to praise! God loves to buy back something that was once ruled and ruined by sin and make it brand new! He did it with you. He did it with Easter and Christmas. And He can do it again!