Welcome to TuesdayTea! Pull up a chair and fill your mug.
Today’s discussion: resurrection, redemption, and you.
An old friend of mine stopped by my house yesterday.
We sat in my dining room, me with my green tea and he with a glass of water, catching up on the past couple of months. I read my TEDx speech to him, which he applauded (*blush*)
Then we spent the next 3-4 hours flowing between casual banter and in-depth delving into the mysteries of Christ. Boy, did we dive IN–and did he challenge my beliefs, my knowledge of Kingdom principles and my relationship with God!
See, my friend prefers to see himself as “spiritual, not religious.” He believes that God does exist, as the central intelligent energy composing and ordering the universe, but how up close and personal we can know Him–not that well. That there is a spirit world and other realities rampant with evil and benevolent spirits, a lot of duality and possibilities in magic, and that even God can be evil. That we engage with our context and what someone else has told us to believe rather than seeking such knowledge for ourselves.
Being this the day after Christ followers worldwide celebrate the Day of Resurrection, where He conquered death, hell and the grave and got up with all power in His hands, I asked him about his view on redemption. His answers intrigued me.
So, here are some takeaways from that discussion:
- Redemption is not synonymous with retribution. Retribution, like revenge, is payback, retaliating one wrong with another, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.
- What Christ did was not to retaliate or even to respond to His accusers or curse them, but instead to forgive them. So too we must forgive (release others) from their offenses, remembering that mercy triumphs over judgment.
- Redemption is paying the full price of something, or recovering the value of something.
What Christ did was pay the debt that you and I could not pay, in our sinfulness:
we miss the mark of God’s standard for holiness, righteousness, purity, every single day. The wages of sin is death–destruction in our minds, wills, bodies and spirits, in our personal relationships with one another, and our relationships with God.
So He laid down His life for each and every one of us, once for all.
In Christ we now are saved eternally–past, present, future covered. Grace!
- Resurrection is not resuscitating; it’s not bringing back to consciousness what had fainted, fallen asleep, or lost its breath. It’s not reviving what is dormant.
Resurrection is giving NEW life to what was DEAD, in full power.
- Because of redemption and resurrection, dry bones can live! By the Spirit of God, by belief in Christ the Son of God, we don’t have to subject ourselves to our flesh passions and former lifestyle that brought us shame, to the elemental spirits of the world through magic and manipulation, to our cravings and our conflicting desires. WE have power over all the works of the enemy, and in faith we stand victorious, unashamed, full of hope! No condemnation over here!
- By redemption, Christ became our righteousness. We have new life and a new identity, a second chance to get it right and to become every last bit of who He created us to be. He gives us peace; He gives us purpose!
In some pragmatic terms, here’s what all that breaks down to for you, creative:
- You are a new creature, liberated, not defined by your yesterday.
Your mistakes, faults, failures, and finicky nature are no longer counted against you. You get a fresh start.
- You are noble, now. You have the freedom to make choices that honor Christ in you, that honor your family and community.
- Your life is hidden in Christ. Your purpose is changed, elevated and bound up in His Kingdom, to glorify God by making the best use of your talents, gifts and abilities.
- As you walk with Him, He leads with resounding joy and lasting, transcending peace. He orders your steps with what is absolutely best for you–no more worrying about tomorrow! The King of Kings, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, and your mighty Savior, has got your back 10000%.
- You get to redeem the time, yet realizing that no time spent in preparation is wasted. Some ideas that you’ve had, projects you didn’t finish, companies you failed to start, can begin to manifest again as God provides opportunity according to His timing and purposes. You learn patience. It’s humbling to wait on Him, knowing He will satisfy all our deepest needs, and get us ready for the good work He has for us to do!
Teach us to number our days, O Lord, that we may know wisdom. Ps 90:12
- You get to redeem your relationships–those broken connections, those old hurts, those family and friends who betrayed your trust or didn’t believe in you or invest in your great ideas. You can forgive them, and even reconcile with them. You get to free yourself from the tyranny of people’s opinions.
Knowing is only part of it–it’s by believing and embracing that God is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him, that we find all we were looking for, and learn the secrets of true redemption and resurrection.
Let’s continue this conversation! What does redemption mean to you? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter!