Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thoughts on Redemption

re•deem, v. 
1. to compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something)
2. (of a person) atone or make amends for (error or evil)
3. to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment
 ORIGIN  Latin redimere, from re(d) - 'back' + emere 'buy'

Christians use the word "redeem" a lot.  With Easter coming up, the concept of Christ's death atoning for our sin and being redeemed as people to a right standing with God is the topic du jour.  Sometimes, though, I think we use "church" words so much that we have forgotten what they mean, if we knew at all.  May I share a quote that lends a unique perspective to the word "redeem"?
"I choose the word 'redeemed' with care, knowing how it has devalued over time... Yet no other word quite fits.  Restore and reclaim or re-create, which hint at the original good that God has promised to reinstate, lack a layer of meaning. A redeemed slave is not truly 'restored': he still bears scars from the whip and carries within the trauma of being wrenched from home, family and continent and sold in chains to a human master. Precisely because of that trauma, freedom means more to the redeemed slave than ever it did before. In spite of all the hardship, or perhaps because of it, something has advanced, progressed. The Bible's glimpses of our eternal state all indicate that what we endure on earth now, and how we respond, will inform that state, help bring it about, and be remembered there.  Even the resurrected Jesus kept his scars."~ Philip Yancey

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I very much appreciate Philip Yancey's perspective on Redemption, and for your allowing us an opportunity to refresh our awareness of this oft used but not often held in reverence, "church word".