By Mark Long
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” -- Ephesians 1:7-8
The Cave Spring Varsity Basketball team was headed to the state championship after a record-breaking winning season. Coach Gruse, named Virginia State coach of the year, embraced FCA’s Core Values of Integrity, Serving, Teamwork, and Excellence. He had prepared the team with excellence athletically, while character coach John Sharp guided them spiritually.
As they loaded the bus to head to the final state championship game, coronavirus struck, and the state-mandated lockdown was initiated. The game was cancelled, classes were cancelled, and later the senior prom and graduation were cancelled for many of the players. Was redemption in store for their season and their state title? Would they get a second chance?
Fortunately, coach Gruse and many of his players have a strong Christian faith and they understand the value of true redemption. The Bible’s main theme is about redemption. The dictionary defines redemption as, “the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment or clearing a debt.” Redemption is an act of God’s grace. We did nothing to earn it, nor do we deserve it.
Out of God’s love for us, He gave the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ to those who put their faith in Him. Humans had fallen to sin from the beginning and still does today, but God rescues and delivers us from sin and evil. It came at a great cost! God, the Father, sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to redeem and deliver mankind from the power of sin. Jesus came to pay a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.
Peter worded it this way, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” There was a great price to pay. Some lyrics from Mikeschair’s Redemption Song define this perfectly:
“This is the time to stop the noise, lay down your burdens, lift your voice, and praise this Son, the Holy One, who rescued us. It's Christmas, let the world rejoice! Everyone sing along. This is our redemption song.”
In what may appear to many as a downward spiral of events in our country, all is not lost. Cave Spring will have a second chance at the state title. As Christ-followers, we have a second chance at eternal life through Jesus Christ. As Christmas draws near this year, you may be discouraged about your season or how you’ve been impacted by this virus, but remember the true meaning of Christmas--remember that Jesus’ birth represents redemption for all of us. This is our redemption song!
- What in your life seems to have been completely lost and how can it be redeemed?
- What feelings stir up inside of you when you meditate on what Jesus did for you? Turn those feelings upward and sing the redemption song.
Romans 3:23-24; Isaiah 44:22; Psalms 130:7; Colossians 1:12-14
“Father, forgive us for being distracted by setbacks, lost seasons, and losing sight of Your amazing grace. Thank You for redeeming, rescuing, and delivering us out of Your great love for us. Jesus, thank You for paying the ultimate price with Your life and cancelling our debt. Let us sing our redemption song loudly so that the world may hear.”