God is a master redeemer. He specializes in redeeming (or making something new and beautiful out of) the messes we are so good at making in our lives. From time to time we’ll find ourselves feeling like we don’t have a purpose, things may all seem to be going nowhere, or just plain going all wrong. The plan that God has for us may seem hazy, or even maybe a complete mystery. It’s time likes these that its good to stop and remember that God didn’t make a mistake when He knit us together in our mother’s womb. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, we are placed into space and time, into this specific point of space and time, with our unique abilities, appearance, personality, and everything about us for a reason.
The problem with being human is that we often mess that up, taking our eyes off Jesus and follow/worship something else that promises to satisfy without having to say no to the desire of our flesh. Sometimes we make life altering decisions that are disobedient towards God and we violently hurl ourselves off of the tracks God laid for us when we were just a babe.
We’ve been doing it since the beginning. Before the fall of mankind in the garden, God’s plan for us was being perfectly fulfilled. We were perfectly glorifying Him and in perfect fellowship with Him because we were free from sin. It would have gone on forever, except just as we do today, Adam and Eve took the gift of freewill that God gave humanity and used it to throw the muck of sin all over God’s masterpiece. We messed it up so royally that it could never go back, the darkness of our sin was so deep that it could not be scraped away to reveal what it once had been. The curse of sin (death) hovers permanently over all of us, the darkness of that original free will rebellion spans the centuries, dooming us to separation from God.
But, there is a Redeemer.
Each of us does the same thing that Adam and Eve did. Although we are born into a life leading to physical death because of the original sin, we are born with a clean slate for our souls. We each have the choice to either live in obedience to ourselves, or to live in obedience towards God. It doesn’t take us long in life to start sinning though, satisfying the desires of our sinful nature and dooming our souls to the second death. As we grow we begin to make decisions that affect the trajectory of our lives here on earth; and the thing is, every decision we make is either one that is God Honoring, or one that is self-honoring and each has its own set of consequences. It doesn’t take us long to start using our free will to not only coat our souls in sin, but to also hurl sinful decisions into the path of our life, altering the direction and our future. We derail ourselves. There was no undo in the garden. There is no undo here and now.
But, there is a Redeemer.
Some of us can look back at our lives to the specific age, place and rebellious decision that threw us literally off the tracks. We can see how this decision of disobedience marred the masterpiece that God had intended for us into something that we could never go back to. We can never go back and follow those tracks that God had laid out for us. We are left crashed into the dirt, stuck in the mar of our sin, with a feeling like we have no purpose left. That one decision becomes the greatest regret, the regret that hangs heavy on us, weighing us down deeper into the mar as we begin to rust.
Some of us look back at our lives and we don’t see a single moment, we see a whole life where God’s intentions or plans for our lives were a mystery. A life where we’ve done nothing but serve our own desires, and yet here you find yourself feeling lost and without purpose. All that is left is disappointment, and the futility of grasping satisfaction that all too quickly fades away into emptiness.
Whichever it may be, we have used the free will God gave us to mar the original masterpiece of a plan for our lives. We’ve allowed ourselves to think for a moment that the brush was in our hands, when in reality the Creator simply allowed us to sink our hands into the darkness of sin and to throw it all over His handiwork. We think we are triumphant in overrunning God’s authority, taking control, but really we are not in control, we are being allowed to sin, allowed to use our free will to rebel. We’ve given birth to sin, and the wages of sin is death. Death of our bodies, of our souls, of relationships, of dreams, of purpose.
But, there is a Redeemer.
The beauty of our complete brokenness is that we cannot mend ourselves. Sure we can choose to go our whole life spinning our wheels in the mire of sin until we sink into the grave we’ve dug, sealing our eternal fate. But because we have free will, God gives us the option on this side of eternity to stop living in regret or rebellion and to set our eyes on Christ. The Redeemer can become our Redeemer.
The Redeemer builds something new out of what has been destroyed in death, a new set of tracks in an impossible situation. Although we cannot go back and undo that one decision, we can move forward today. Although we cannot go back and give our lives over to Christ when we were but a young one, we can today.
There is a Redeemer.
The beauty of that deep sense of regret, of the groping in the darkness of our sin, is that it allows us to be deeply acquainted with how much we need a Savior and it leads us to repentance. God doesn’t give us a magic redo at life, He doesn’t take away the consequences, He uses them to lead us to our true purpose, to the reason why He created us: to be Redeemed by the power of God, for the glory of God, through Christ. To be satisfied in God through Christ, passionately in love with Him, bringing glory and honor to Him through the Holy Spirit.
We have each disobeyed God. We have lied, we have dishonored God’s name carelessly or even as a curse, we have looked at someone we aren’t married to with lust, or even acted out those thoughts, we have coveted what belongs to someone else, we have all sinned. When we stand before God when we die, we cannot hide our sin behind good deeds, there is nothing good enough that we can do to hide our sin from God. There is only One who Has the power to redeem our soul and bring it from death into life, Jesus. Jesus, took on flesh, although being fully God, faced temptation and through the Holy Spirit’s power did not sin. He took our punishment on the cross, obeying God and allowing Himself to be separated from God by our sin. All of mankind’s sin from all of history was heaped upon Christ at Calvary, cloaking Him in darkness, separating Him from God the Father. But Christ, in the power of God overcame death, and was resurrected. All who trust in Him, who repent of their sins, and follow Him instead of themselves are saved from the second death. We, the redeemed, are covered and protected then by His righteousness, just as our sin covered Him on Calvary. In Christ we become new, our souls are reborn in Christ our Lord. Our hope is complete in Him, knowing that our born again souls will not have to taste death and can be in perfect fellowship with God in Heaven. The Redemption of each us, for all who say yes to Christ here on earth, becomes the Redemption of humanity after the fall.
There is a Redeemer.
Stop looking back, stop spinning your wheels. Turn to and follow Christ. Look to Christ and rest in Him. When we put our trust in Him and obey Him, He lifts the burden and the weight of our regrets. He builds a new path for us in the wilderness, a path that leads us to Him. The Holy Spirit strengthens and transforms us, who belong to Christ, and empowers us to do God’s will in peace. So seek first God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness. Be transformed by the entire renewal of your mind and fulfill your purpose: to know Christ and to make Him known.
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.”
“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness,
and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
I Corinthians 1:13-14