Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Christian Devotions: Our Redeemer - Isaiah 63:16

Isaiah 63:16     However, You are our Father, even though Abraham does not recognize us or Israel know us; You are our Father, O Lord, and from ancient times Your Name is known as ‘Our Redeemer.’

Sadly, every now and then, some celebrity or famous person loses their life in a tragic or scandalous way. We are all shocked and saddened by this kind of event, especially if the person has died much younger than anticipated. Within days, we are all saturated with breaking news, special documentaries, and television biographies that sometimes unfairly criticize or sully the reputation of the dead person. Media frenzy ensues and the story is big until some other star passes away tragically. Then a new circus begins and the same old cycle of speculation and cynicism continues.

I used to wonder if that kind of thing happened beyond death. Is a person’s whole life totally revealed to everyone in eternity, with all of the shameful secrets and sinful events completely exposed? Are our reputations eternally sullied and our souls punished by God for our faithless and fruitless ways in life? As a teenager, those things used to worry me immensely; as a Christian, I now understand the beauty of God’s grace.

For thousands of years, the One, True, and Living God has been known as ‘Our Redeemer.’ He doesn’t have to, but He wants to redeem us from our sins and rescue us from the sickness of our secrets. In Isaiah’s time, the people thought that because they were so far away from Jerusalem, God didn’t have the geographical power to rescue and deliver them. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah realized that this wasn’t true. God wasn’t limited by time or space; geography or history could not bind or restrict His redeeming power. God didn’t have to, but God was willing to deliver His people yet again.

As Christians, we now know God’s great redeeming love through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. We are delivered from death and saved from our sins through the Cross at Calvary. Whatever we have sinfully done in the past, Christ has completely forgiven for all Time. Whatever shameful secrets have sullied us, Jesus has totally absolved. From of old, we have known His Name: Our Redeemer.

Question for personal reflection

How has Jesus been revealed to me as the Redeemer of my life?

Prayer:                        Lord Jesus, we cannot thank You enough for restoring us to God’s favor by redeeming us with Your blood. We will always be eternally thankful for Your sacrifice on the Cross that has reconnected our souls with God for all Time. Help us to cheerfully and joyfully live each day as thankful redeemed people. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to pastor@erinpresbyterian.org.

Today’s image is John’s latest Spring drawing called “Dogwood Cardinal.” If you would like to view a larger version of the picture, please click on the following link: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6227/6998552941_3a75f0a757_b.jpg

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