Saturday, July 22, 2017

redeemed by the blood of the Lamb

artwork by Lena Zieber

As I gazed at this beautiful work of art by Lena Zieber, my heart was drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study on redemption from Ephesians 1:7-8..

Amplified: In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor, which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence)

TLB: So overflowing is his kindness toward us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved; and he has showered down upon us the richness of his grace—for how well he understands us and knows what is best for us at all times.

NLT: He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

NET Bible: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight.

Phillips: It is through the Son, at the cost of his own blood, that we are redeemed, freely forgiven through that full and generous grace which has overflowed into our lives and opened our eyes to the truth.

Wuest: in Whom we are having our redemption through His blood, the putting away of our trespasses according to the wealth of His grace which He caused to superabound to us in the sphere of every wisdom and understanding.

Young’s Literal: in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the remission of the trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, in which He did abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence

Our redemption is "in Christ" and we now and forever live in the atmosphere of the light, truth, and power of that same eternal redemption. It's as if the "redemption" Christ has provided is now the air in which we believers live and breathe and have our being. In Christ and through the efficacious work accomplished by His blood shed on the Cross over 2000 years ago, we have truly been set free. The present tense indicates durative action, paraphrased, “in Whom we are continually having redemption” or "we have and are still having it." In Christ, now redemption is our present and our continual possession. Redemption is an abiding fact, past, present, and future.

Redemption (apolutrosis) is the payment of a price to ransom, to release, to buy back or to deliver one from a situation from which one is powerless to liberate themselves from or for which the penalty was so costly that they could never hope to pay the ransom price. In other words, the idea of redemption is deliverance or release by payment of a ransom.

When was this price of blood that effected our redemption paid? On the Cross when Jesus declared, "It is finished," the Greek verb Tetelestai which translated means, Paid in Full! When someone had a debt in ancient times and it was paid off, they would write Tetelestai on that certificate which means Paid in Full, the exact words Jesus declared in His moment of ultimate triumph over satan and sin! Tetelestai was used by various people in everyday life. Receipts for taxes found in the the secular Greek writings have written across them this single Greek word Tetelestai! When a Roman citizen was convicted of a crime, the law of that day slammed him in prison, prepared a "Certificate of Debt" that listed all the crimes he was convicted of on it and nailed the certificate to his cell door for all to see. It remained nailed there so all would be assured that he served his full sentence, and "paid in full" the penalty for his crimes. When Jesus, dying for us on the Cross, announced His great victory cry with the Greek word Tetelestai, it would have resonated with many watching this spectacle for it was a very familiar phrase. Tetelestai was the same word that the authorities stamped across the Certificate of Debt after a criminal had completed his prison term. It literally meant that he had Paid in Full for all his crimes. Then the criminal was given the certificate which he could produce to show that his debts and obligations had been paid in full. He could never be a victim of double jeopardy, or paying for the same crime twice. In a similar way, when an artist completed a picture or a writer finished his manuscript, he might say, It is finished! When the servant completed the task the master had assigned to him, he would declare, It is finished!, when the master returned. The death of Jesus on the Cross completes the picture that God had been painting since before the foundation of the world, the story that He had written from all eternity.

A missionary in West Africa was trying to convey the meaning of the word redeem in the Bambara language. So he asked his African assistant to express it in his native tongue. "We say," the assistant replied, "that God took our heads out." "But how does that explain redemption?" the perplexed missionary asked. The man told him that many years ago some of his ancestors had been captured by slave-traders, chained together, and driven to the seacoast. Each of the prisoners had a heavy iron collar around his neck. As the slaves passed through a village, a chief might notice a friend of his among the captives and offer to pay the slave-traders in gold, ivory, silver, or brass. The prisoner would be redeemed by the payment. His head then would be taken out of his iron collar. What an unusual and graphic illustration of the word redeem! As Ephesians 1:7 states, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Jesus died on the cross to purchase our freedom from the bondage of sin...I know my Redeemer lives...I spoke with Him this morning...

Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Yourself as an offering so that I could be free! As I receive the Father’s forgiveness through Your offering of Yourself, I will praise You and thank You for the freedom that forgiveness gives! I entrust my spirit, my very life, into Your hands this day. You are mighty beyond my ability to imagine, and You have made the way for me to do so…through the blood of Jesus. How I praise You for prayer, for through it I can let go and give over control of my life to You! With all my heart I thank you, Jesus, for being the perfect sacrifice for my sins and the sins of the whole world. When Your blood was presented on the heavenly mercy seat and You offered up Your Spirit, the veil of the temple was forever rent, providing me access into the very presence of the Father. "It is finished!" How I thank You. Your precious name I pray, amen.

Look up – Meditate on Ephesians 1:7-8 . . . Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – Meditate on Ephesians 1:7-8 . . .Pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is ______________, I will ______________.”
Look out – Meditate on Ephesians 1:7-8 . . . Pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.  

* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


  1. I caught this on Life Letter Cafe the other day and shared it. I love the "God took our heads out" story. Thanks, Beth.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Kelly. It is a joy sharing my posts on Life Letter Cafe, and getting to meet new friends like you! Many blessings to you ❤️

  2. So thankful that God has taken our heads out! And that he continues to work in our lives, forgiving, purifying, and leading us in "paths of righteousness!"

    1. Amen, Michele! So grateful for the finished work of Christ. Thanks so much for stopping by...many blessings to you ❤️


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