God's Redemption Story

If you go to my facebook page you will notice on the left hand side there is a poll where you can learn what Star Wars character you are. I wanted to be reassured as to which one I was and so I took this poll and found out what I consider to be truth… I am Han Solo. I know this comes as no surprise to you. When I think of Han, I always think of that scene in the Death Star when Luke is trying to convince Han that Princess Leia is worth saving.

Han Solo I can imagine quite a bit – that’s God’s redemption story, bigger than we can imagine

Romans 5:8 tells us that we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We gloss over this world ‘sinners’ often times and downplay what it means to be a sinner. But plain and simple, being a sinner means we are enemies of God…
That means that Christ died for us while we were diametrically opposed to him. Enemies. Not just friends who weren’t getting along. While we were still sinners… enemies of God… he died for us… in our place… instead of us… his redemption story is big enough that he loved us, died for us, called us back to him.
What does Redemption mean?

Redemption means to bring something back to life. It’s taking something that is dead, broken, beat up & ugly and making clean, new, fixed & pure. Healing, restoration, life… again.

Take Paul for example. He was killing Christians, then became the greatest voice of the church. He was on his way to Damascus with permission from the High Priest to kill any Christians that he could get his hands one when he encountered the very Christ he was persecuting. We are all enemies of God in the same manner before we meet him…

What I have found is that sooner or later we are all going to hit rock bottom. Another thing I realized, painfully I might add, is – the only way up from the bottom is through the redemption story of Christ. No matter how far we think we are we are never out of the reach of God and his redemption story.
More than that, the only thing that can fill that hole within us is God. When we are on our way down and after we hit the bottom we are trying, grasping at anything to make the pain, hurt stop… and nothing stops it. Oh, we can make it stop for a short time: drugs, sex, spending sprees, alcohol, cutting, reckless behavior… anything to make the pain, hurt to stop. And it works… for a very short time. And then we realize God and his redemption are the only thing that can save us… from ourselves.

Christ has been here & done that – human just like us. Hebrews 3:17-18 tells us that Jesus has been there, done that, got the t-shirt… he became a human and he knows what it feels like to have a friend die. He knows what it feels like to be stressed out, overwhelmed, angry, depressed, tired, beat up, broken… he has been there and he can offer to carry our burden because he has already carried and knows what it feels like.

Great, Jesus knows what it is like to be me… so what? He has redeemed me… for a purpose.

Look at John 21:15-17, this is the story of Jesus eating a fish breakfast with his disciples and asking Peter if he loves him three times. You may remember a short time before this Peter denied Jesus three times. I think Jesus is telling Peter (and us ) no matter how many times he is denied he still loves, still redeems and still gives a job to do.

Jesus instructs Peter to care for his sheep and feed his lambs. I think this means we need to love our neighbors, disciple the lost, care for the orphans & widows… these are all ways that Jesus’ people are taken care of or fed.

James 1:27 says that pure & undefiled religion is to care for the orphans and widows and to remain unstained by the world. In this context religion is used to describe our worship of God.

Here is the challenge… are you living up to the task God has given us? He has redeemed us, repaired us, healed us so that we can reach out to the broken, beat up, bruised, used and afflicted around us…
are you?

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