I spent a lot of time trying to explain “Redemption” in todays language and in the way we live in this culture and it is not always easy. I talked to some of my friends over seas about the theological concept and they got it when we talked about a cow that might have wondered away and the owner found some else claiming it as the owner and how there would be fights over that animal. The idea that you would buy back and pay a price for something that you owned was pretty amazing. We used to have “Green Stamps” and redemption centers. You bought groceries or gas and then you received green stamps commensurate with the amount of money that you paid out. You took the stamps home and put them in a book and when the book was full you could use those stamps and the company would redeem them by giving you products. I remember as a kid going to the redemption center with a whole box of stamp books and getting a bike or something. The point was the stamps belonged to the Green Stamp company and they bought them back from me. At least I think that is what was happening.
Anyway the Creator who made us and therefore owned us had to buy us back from slavery that would have kept us enslaved forever. We belonged to Him and He had to pay a ransom price to get us back. The ransom price was Jesus holy and precious blood and innocent suffering and death.
One of my favorite poets is John Donne who was born not long after Luther died. Most critics like him because he is a bit racy and some say erotic, but he is also deeply religious with a spirituality of the cross that is amazing. It is good stuff.
Wilt thou love God, as he thee? then digest,
My Soule, this wholsome
How God the Spirit, by Angels waited on
In heaven, doth make
his Temple in thy brest.
The Father having begot a Sonne most blest,
still begetting, (for he ne’r begonne)
Hath deign’d to chuse thee by
Coheire to his glory, and Sabbaths endlesse rest;
And as a
robb’d man, which by search doth finde
His stolne stuffe sold, must lose or
buy it againe;
The Sonne of glory came downe, and was slaine,
Us whom he
had made, and Satan stolne, to unbinde.
‘Twas much, that man was made like
But, that God should be made like man, much more.