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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Redemption
 

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  April 1, 2019 --

For I know that my Redeemer lives,

and at the last he will stand

upon the earth.

And after my skin has been

thus destroyed,

yet in my flesh I shall see God,

whom I shall see for myself,

and my eyes shall behold,

and not another.

These words from the Book of Job should be familiar to both Jewish and Christian readers. They reflect the strong belief that after this life there is a life to come, that God will not forget his people, but offers them life eternal. The terms “redeem”, “Redeemer”, “redemption”, “save”, and “salvation” appear over 200 times in the Bible, abundantly in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The exact word used varies with the context and the translation.

But the message is clear: God redeems or saves His people, either individually or collectively. Because of our sinful nature we cannot save ourselves; only God can save us, as the prophet Isaiah says [Chapter 12]:

Surely God is my salvation;

I will trust and not be afraid.

The Lord, the Lord himself, is my

strength and my defense;

he has become my salvation.”

Now, in our ordinary lives when we redeem something, such as redemption of soda bottles, we give up something of lesser value, such as the bottle, and receive something of greater value, such as money. We redeem our baggage claim and receive our luggage, something of much greater value to us than the claim ticket. However, sometimes, such as redemption of an item in a pawn shop, the price we pay might be considerably larger. God’s redemption gives to us eternal life, but for us Christians the price paid is very large indeed. In the book of Revelation we read: “You were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

Again, in the Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah, chapter 53, we read:

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

I lack the theological depth to completely understand this, but just accept it as a matter of faith.

 

 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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