Ephesians 1:7-10, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making know to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
We live in tumultuous times. The ever-shifting sands of culture seem to bring new challenges, situations, and predicaments each and every day. We live in a world where people are constantly trying to reinvent themselves. Celebrities are always looking for new ways to reimagine themselves and present themselves to a new and younger audience. Athletes no longer focus on their sport, but rather capitulate to the times and take provocative political positions to make their “brand” something more influential, and social media influencers have all but replaced TV news anchors and investigative journalist as sources of news and relevant political commentary as we know it.
Within all of these changes and reimaginations we’ve also seen a new trend arise, the redemption tours and speaking engagements of people who once had “power” and celebrity, but have become social pariahs due to some unforeseen situation. We’ve seen individuals offered up as sacrifices upon the altar of celebrity and prestige only to rise from the ashes like a phoenix and rejoin the ranks of American prosperity and cultural influence by way of “redemption tours.” People who take these routes in life to alter public perception of their misdeeds or indiscretions do so with one goal and only one goal in mind. Redemption. Redemption of power, prestige, and influence by any means necessary. They wish to reclaim something that they once had that was taken away from them by the swift judgment of “Twitter justice warriors.” Now, these “redemption tours” come in many forms through public forums, town hall meetings, college campus speaking tours, book deals, TV tell-all interviews, and podcasts.
All in all, they set out to reconcile, redeem, and restore thins back to a relatively “normal” life. The thing is though their vain attempts at redemption only go so far. People will still remember how they messed up. People will still remember the glaring indiscretions of the past. People will still be leery of trusting again. People may forgive, but they certainly don’t forget, and some still will hold a record of wrong till their dead and buried 6 feet under. So, these “redemption tours” fall flat because a person who chooses this route will actually never truly be free from their guilt, shame, regret, and past. All the good works in the world can’t do that, but that’s why the gospel is such good news.
Where man says “I can’t do it,” Jesus says “It is finished.” The hope of the gospel is that when we are redeemed by the shed blood Jesus Christ by the grace of God the Father through the work of the Holy Spirit, we are perfectly and totally and completely redeemed of all wrong. There is no record of wrong. There is no account to be answered for.
There are “Twitter justice warrior” calling us out and holding our feet to the fire. There is only Christ interceding on our behalf, applying his blood to our sins, and clothing us in his perfect righteousness. It is in Christ and Christ alone where we find our redemption. All the good works in the world couldn’t erase the stain of sin on our lives, but thanks be to God that no matter how many sins we have his mercy is more. We don’t have to organize an apology tour, write a tell-all memoir, or be interviewed by Diane Sawyer to seek redemption and forgiveness. All we need is to cry out to God and his beloved Son for salvation, and it is finished. Where culturally approved attempts at redemption fall short, God not only redeems our souls, but he also reconciles us back to himself, restores us to a loving relationship with himself, and unites us with his perfect will in heaven as it is accomplished on earth.
Christ blood is perfectly sufficient as a sacrifice for our redemption. Unlike the blood of bulls, goats, and lambs which were merely placeholders the blood of Jesus covers our past, present, and future sins perfectly because Jesus was the only human to live a perfectly holy and righteous life. The curse of the First Adam is blotted out by the saving power of the Second Adam. The grip of sin and shame is shattered by the cross of Christ. The sting of Death is cured by the living Word who conquered the grave once and for all eternity. Christ sacrifice was freely given and graciously applied to us. His perfect righteousness is imputed to us and now in Christ God sees us as redeemed saints rather than rebellious sinners. It is only by God’s marvelous grace that this is possible. It’s only by his sovereign control and plans that we have access to total redemption. God doesn’t merely just give us leftover table scraps, but rather he draws deep from the abundant riches of his wells of grace and mercy. In doing so his forgiveness is multiplied continually, his grace abounds eternally, and his love never runs out.
Jesus set out on the original “redemption tour” 2000+ years ago, and he’s still going strong. Jesus is still in the business of seeking and saving the lost. He’s still in the business of proclaiming his Fathers glorious grace. He’s still redeeming those who have no hope. He’s still restoring those who have no relationship. He’s still at work and will continue to be at work till all his Father’s children have been numbered and accounted for. Until all things have been united in God through Jesus Christ, Jesus will keep the tour going making sure that all the lost have been found and redeemed by his precious blood. As the hymn goes “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”