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Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Freelance: REDEMPTION

Once upon a time, the Creator prepared a perfect world and called it "good." He then shaped dirt of the earth into a man and breathed into him the spirit of life. Man was alone, which God declared "not good." So woman was created from part of man's flesh, designed to remain one flesh with him as intimate companion.

The two might choose Life or Death, and made themselves subjects of Death. Now the dark angel's minions, they shared with him being cursed. Woman would bring forth from her flesh the fruit of her womb with great travail, her longing toward the husband who ruled over her never quite satisfied. Man would also travail to bring forth fruit from the soil, which would return to him thorns for his sweat. And both man and his wife would one day succumb to Death and return to the earth from which they were taken.

God suffered with His people, for it is not possible to watch a beloved one suffer without sharing it. Though His great love often went unrequited, love compelled God to deliver His people from Death. But Death barters only with the lives of men. So God took on the flesh of dirt and became the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, and paid Death's redemption price with His own life and blood.

The more one has paid for something the more it is valued. Thus in paying the ultimate price to redeem His people, God's perfect love for them became even greater.

He once breathed into their bodies the spirit of life, and now put into their souls eternal life of His Spirit. He declares them His bride, unites His Spirit with her flesh—and shares the curse of His intimate companion.

His body was for a short time returned to the earth from which His flesh was taken. His wife's heart is the soil in which He sows the seed of His Word. He travails to bring forth the fruit of His Spirit from her, but with fruit she returns to Him thorns for His sweat—even as she travails against flesh to bring forth His fruit. She longs for her Bridegroom, yet often resists His rule over her.

God might have ordained that Death never enter the world. But in rescuing His people from Death, Savior and saved become more beloved to each other.

God might have brought about an immediate deliverance from Death, but until its full horror is suffered, how can we appreciate the value of His redemption?

Some six thousand years have passed since creation, God and His people suffering together. Surely suffering nears its culmination, and the full value of our redemption shall soon be known.

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