Bible Order: Numbers 30–31
Chronological Order: Leviticus 24–25
New Testament Only: Mark 3:22–4:9
You Were Redeemed: Bought At A Price!
The first thing that jumped out at me in today’s reading was Leviticus 25:23 “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me.” It got me thinking about what I consider to be my possessions. I have, in the past, thought of things and even people as mine; my house, my car, my job, my wife, my daughter, my father, my mother, etc. I’ve come to realize that I’m way off on that notion.
I am alive today because God created the Universe; He knit me together in my mother’s womb, Psalm 139:13. Those two facts alone mean that not only do I not own anything, I don’t own myself. This is particularly true for one who has accepted Jesus Christ. In today’s reading we see that the property and people of God are to be “redeemed” in the year of Jubilee if not sooner. Notice that one must pay to be redeemed except in the year of Jubilee.
Now let’s be clear here. It was only God’s people that were to be redeemed. If an Israelite had a slave from a different people group they remained a slave forever.
So here is what hit me. I have been redeemed. I am one of God’s chosen people. I do not belong to myself because Christ paid a price for me. Look at the following verse:
1 Corinthians 7:23 (NIV)
“You were bought at a price: do not become slaves of men.”
This is instructive but I like how the New Living Translation puts it because we see the idea amplified.
1 Corinthians 7:23 (NLT)
“God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.”
I was a slave to sin. When we pursue our fleshly desires we think we are in control. The fact of the matter is we are out of control. Try to stop your habitual sinful behavior in your own strength and let me know how well that goes. I mentioned Ted Bundy in an earlier post and noted how one step down the road of sin led to another and another until, as he later confessed, he couldn’t control himself. He had an insatiable hunger that had control of him.
When I accepted Christ, the debt of sin was paid. I no longer belong to sin. He died on the cross so I could be reborn from the grip of death and the control of sin. I’m afraid too often I behave as if I am still in the grip of sin, but the reality is that I am free, I’m just acting like a zombie because I haven’t learned how to remain in Christ. I’m getting a little off course here so let me bring it back around.
I no longer belong to sin. I belong to Christ. My house, car, job, wife, daughter, father, mother, they are not mine. They are His. He has placed them in my care. I am to be a good steward of all he has placed in my care. Why? Because He loved me enough to die for me. I’m reminded of the Bible story of the Prodigal Son. He learned that he would rather be a servant in his father’s house than to continue to eat the wretched refuse available to him as a free man in the world. That’s me. We are not to be a slave to sin because we are God’s servants. We belong to Him not sin.
“For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.”
I read a story a year or two ago about some soldiers that had come home from Iraq after one of their comrades had thrown themselves on a grenade. Yes, I’m speaking about more than one individual who sacrificed themselves for their friends. The article explained that all felt unworthy of the sacrifice. Some who came back, however, were so grateful for the sacrifice that they were determined to ensure that it wasn’t in vain. Others who came back became overwhelmed by the sacrifice unable to accept it. They became self-destructive; doing drugs, getting drunk, drinking and driving, pushing everyone who cared for them away; a number of them committed suicide.
What is your response to His sacrifice? Are you indifferent? Are you self-destructive? Are you so grateful that you are determined to ensure that it wasn’t in vain? Of course the death of Christ was not in vain. Millions have been saved by His unselfish act. The issue is do you continue to act as though you are the boss? Did God create you and bless you and set you free so you could continue to focus on your pitiful little self or did He do all of that for a purpose; His purpose?
You are His. You have been redeemed! You were bought at a price. For what did He save you? How will you respond? The answers to those last two questions are crucial to experiencing the joy He came to give you.
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 2/12/10)