Todd A. Peperkorn, STM
Messiah Lutheran Church
Wednesday of Invocabit
Isaiah 43:1-7, I Peter 1:13-21
TITLE: “Cross+Words: Redeemer”
In the name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Our text for the beginning of our series on Cross+Words is taken from Isaiah chapter 43 and 1 Peter chapter 1.
Redeemer and redemption are words that we are quite used to using all the time, but don’t actually appear all that often in the Bible. There are a few instances of redemption that come to mind from the Scriptures. Ruth and Boaz. The slave Onesimus and his release negotiated by St. Paul in the book of Philemon. In the Old Testament the word redeem is most commonly used in connection with the Exodus, how God saved His people with a mighty arm from the hand of Pharaoh and cruel Egypt. Most of the time when we think of the word redemption, we basically mean either save or deliver or something along those lines.
But Luther latches on to something else about redemption. It doesn’t just mean to deliver or to save. Listen again to Luther’s explanation to the Second Article of the creed:
I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord. Who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.
Notice what the key thing for Luther is when it comes to who Jesus is and what He does for us in redeeming us. For Luther the key element of redemption is the price. Jesus delivered us by paying the price. Luther really quotes almost verbatim our Epistle for this evening from I Peter:
“…knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
(1Peter 1:18-19 ESV)
Your ransom, your redemption, cost something. There is no simply forgetting about the debt we owe to God because of our sin. God doesn’t just say “nevermind” or “it’s okay, it doesn’t matter”. Your salvation comes with a price. And the price of your redemption is the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
There is Law in this, because this reminds us of our sin and shows us our great need. But more importantly, there is sweet Gospel. You see, dearly beloved, God has pay the price. Your redemption is secure. There is no questioning whether or not you will be set free. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin. This is the ultimate price of redemption. God has put up a tremendous price for your salvation and freedom.
This night and every night we can rest in peace, because the price of redemption is paid. You are free because of the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Be at peace. You have been bought with a price. In Jesus’ name.