What is redemption? The dictionary has several definitions. 1) the act, process, or an instance of serving to offset or compensate for a defect or 2) the act of exchanging something for money, or award.  I remember redeeming S&H green stamps as a child. We would receive these stamps when we bought groceries. My mother disliked putting them in the coupon books. But I didn’t mind because when we filled enough books, I could go pick out gifts. Redeeming the stamp books is an example of the second definition.
Redemption of a Nation
God had made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants. In a time of drought, these people moved to the country of Egypt to have food. Eventually, the Egyptians enslaved the Hebrew people, and it would take a move of God to free them.
God sent Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, but the Pharaoh did not want to let the people go. God sent nine different plagues and the Egyptian people were ready to throw the Hebrew people out of the country, but not Pharaoh. It would take the plague of the death of the firstborn to loosen his grip.
The Hebrew people couldn’t free themselves from slavery in Egypt. God had to intervene on behalf of His people to do something they were unable to do on their own. This is an example of the first definition of redemption: compensating for a defect.
Jesus Redeems us from Sin
God had set up a blood covenant with Abraham. To “seal the deal” God walked between animals that had been cut in half. This sounds gruesome to our 21st century ears, but basically it meant, if I don’t keep my part in the agreement, then may I be like these animals. God has always been faithful to keep His part, but humankind has repeatedly faltered.
For centuries humankind attempted to obey the commandments of God but consistently failed. God intervened by sending Jesus, both God and man, to do what we couldn’t; pay the price for our sin. Since humankind failed to keep the laws, animal sacrifices were a temporary substitute until Jesus made the perfect sacrifice. Jesus redeemed us because we couldn’t redeem ourselves.
Hebrews 9:12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
13 Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. 14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.
What is redemption? Listen here: