Reference: Exodus 6:1-13
From last week’s blog post: Before we can appreciate our redemption, we need to know what the depth of bondage truly was.
Freedom from bondage
In the Old Testament, when a person owed a debt he could not pay, he became a slave. He was in bondage to the one he owed. But even then, the law stipulated the nearest relative could pay the debt, setting free the one in bondage. This relative was called a redeemer, the redeemer kinsman.
The catechism points out that Jesus is our redeemer, since he redeemed us from the bondage of sin.
The specific work of redemption
As we unpack the concept of redemption and the work of the redeemer, our work gets a bit technical, so follow me carefully.
Consider the case of our redemption. Without Christ, we are in bondage to Satan, but the kingdom of Satan is an impostor. He is not sovereign; God is sovereign. So in redemption, payment is given to God the sovereign King. This payment fulfills what God’s justice demands, fully satisfying it — and leads to release from our bondage to sin. According to I Pet. 1:18-19, our redemption is accomplished by the precious blood of Christ. So the blood of Christ not only makes payment for sin, thus leading to satisfaction, it is also the price which secures release from bondage.
This aspect of salvation is often forgotten. We emphasize that our obedience does not in any way add to our salvation. That is true. We emphasize that some day we will not face punishment, because punishment has been already carried out for us on the cross. That is also true.
But equally true and important to remember, we must understand we have been released from the power of the devil. He no longer holds complete control over how we conduct our lives. You, the one for whom Christ has made satisfaction, have been released from that bondage.
Freedom from the consequences of the law
That freedom means, first, we were released from the curse of the law. See Gal. 3:13a (ESV): “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…” The law condemns. Whether it’s one tiny misstep or one great violation, when judged by the holy law, any and every sin results in a curse.
Unlike with civil law, for example exceeding the speed limit, you can not pay a fine and make it right. There is no remedy provided within the law to make right a violation. It only results in curse. But when Christ has redeemed you from under the law, the law can no longer bring curse.
For the redeemed, the law of God gives direction to life. It reminds us of what Christ has done. But in terms of its condemnation, we have been redeemed from that curse.
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.