Four Words about Redemption
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)
When the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, hung upon the cross, he was made to be a curse, an object of Divine wrath and judgment, so that we who believe might never endure the curse of God's law or suffer his wrath. Being made a curse for us, “Christ hath redeemed us!” He did not simply make it possible for us to be redeemed. He did not simply make us redeemable. The text says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law!”
This redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the central theme of Holy Scripture, the foundation of our faith, and the only hope we have of eternal salvation. This is the good news which we proclaim in the gospel. We say to every sinner in all the world who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, “Christ hath redeemed us!” The work is accomplished. Redemption is finished.
Here are four words which set forth and define the redemptive work of our Lord. These four words will both instruct and comfort your heart, and inspire your heart with thanksgiving and praise to the Lord Jesus Christ for his great redemption.
The first word is “sovereignty.” Our Lord's work of redemption was an act of his own Divine sovereignty. “He laid down his life for us.” There was nothing in us which compelled him, or moved him to redeem us. He voluntarily laid down his life for us, because it was the free and sovereign pleasure of his love to do so. The Lord Jesus Christ was in absolute, sovereign control over all things, even in his death. He displayed his sovereignty as God in Gethsemane’s garden, before Pilate, and upon the cross. Yes, Christ, the sovereign God, determined everything about his death. He determined that he would die, who his murderers would be, when he would die, where he would die, how he would die, for whom he would die, and what the results of his death would be.
The second word is “success.” Because our Redeemer is the eternal, sovereign God, we are assured that his death and his redemptive work is a success, and not a failure. The prophecy has been fulfilled — “He shall not fail.” In stating that the Lord Jesus Christ is a successful Savior, I am simply proclaiming that which must be a self-evident truth: — Whatever the Lord Jesus Christ intended to accomplish at Calvary, he has accomplished.
He is God. His purpose and will in redemption must, of a certainty, be fulfilled (Isaiah 46:9-10). When Paul describes that which Christ has done in redemption, he describes our Lord as One who has successfully completed his mission (Hebrews 10:11-14). He has successfully put away sin, brought in an everlasting righteousness, and redeemed a people unto himself.
The third word is “substitution.” The Lord Jesus Christ died as a Substitute for a particular people; and those people for whom Christ died as a substitute at Calvary, bearing their sins and enduring the wrath of God in their place, shall never perish. They are redeemed. Their sins have been put away. He who was made to be sin for us has made us the righteousness of God in himself (Daniel 9:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:12, 26).
The fourth word is “satisfaction.” Our blessed Savior's one, substitutionary sacrifice for our sins has completely and perfectly satisfied the wrath and justice of God against us. His sacrifice was infinitely meritorious, so that every sinner who believes on Christ is freely justified and fully pardoned. God, looking on the merits of his Son, pardons every sinner who looks on his Son in faith. Through the propitiatory sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which the law and justice of God are satisfied, God is both just and the justifier of all who believe (Romans 3:24-26). — “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus!”
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