Food for Friday

In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7

My father used to wear a little pin on the lapel of his sports coat, a Red Cross pin indicating how many times he had donated blood. He and Mom were very proud of their pins, and of the record they had of donating blood. And well might they be! Every one of those donations went to helping someone with a serious health problem, and some of them undoubtedly saved lives. The blood donation program, now carried on by the Canadian Blood Services, has helped to save thousands of lives over the years, and made a huge difference in many more lives. And yet, this program pales into insignificance when we consider the impact of the blood that Jesus Christ shed at Calvary. The redemption provided by that blood, and its great companion, the forgiveness of sins, are the fourth and fifth of the spiritual blessings referred to in verse 3 of Ephesians 1.

Psalm 49:8 tells us that the redemption of the soul is precious. The cost of redeeming you and me from the dunghill of sin and from the coming wrath of God is so great that it required the sacrifice of the Son of God, the shedding of His precious blood, to accomplish it. To think of that great price is to realize just how lost we were. Our text does not tell us that our redemption is by the power of Christ or by the love of Christ, although those are definitely involved. Our redemption is through His blood. Here we have the humiliation, the shame, the agony of Calvary, and the outpouring of our Saviour’s life and blood. Only through the shedding of blood is there remission of sins (Hebrews 9:11). But the shedding of His blood is enough, and we can know that it is enough: ‘Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot’ – 1 Peter 1:18,19.

Have you sinned yet today? We both know the answer to that. And yet, even with our inability achieve sinless perfection, we do not feel the dread of punishment for those sins that we slip into. No, although we sorrow at our sins, we rejoice that our sins, past, present, and future, are all forgiven. If God has forgiven our sins, He cannot now or ever punish us for those sins. Althout it is gloriously true that our forgiveness of sins has given us a fire escape from hell and provided us a ladder to heaven, it does much more than that. Consider the words of Psalm 32:1: ‘Blessed (happy) is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered’. God would not have us wait for eternity to appreciate and enjoy the freedom that our forgiveness of sins provides. We rejoice today in that forgiveness, and in our appreciation, we strive to be more obedient to our Lord and to avoid sin all the more.

Glorious blessings these, our redemption and our forgiveness! Our appreciation of them will surely make a difference in our lives today. – Jim MacIntosh

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