We conclude our study of 1 Corinthians 1:30 by focusing on Christ as our Redeemer.
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God
–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”
All these spiritual blessing are graciously bestowed on the believer in Christ!
To “redeem” involves securing someone’s release through paying a price. The New Testament word, “agorazo”, literally meant “to buy in the market place.” The Bible’s grandest theme is redemption. The people of Israel were redeemed from Egypt; Boaz acted as Ruth’s kinsman redeemer; Hosea redeemed his wayward wife from the slave market (Exodus 7-14; Ruth 4:1-12; Hosea 3). These examples are illustrative of God’s plan of redemption which was first promised back in the Garden of Eden after the Fall. Speaking to the serpent God pronounced
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen 3:15).
Christ crushed Satan through His atonement at Calvary.
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself (Jesus) likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage … Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Heb 2:14-17).
The payment Christ made satisfied divine justice and released God’s people from the penalty of sin, which is death.
The prophet Isaiah predicted Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection seven centuries before He came:
“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed,
He shall prolong His days,
and the pleasure of the LORD
shall prosper in His hand” (Isaiah 53:10).
What amazing love! How could it please the Father to “bruise” the Son on Calvary? It was the only way for a holy God to pardon sinners. Only through a qualified substitutionary payment could God “demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). Only Christ could make this once-for-all payment for our sin (Gal. 4:4,5; 1 Pet. 1:18).
F.J. Huegel wrote on the finality of Christ’s work on the Cross.
“When we rightly view our Redeemer’s passion, the bloody sweat of Gethsemane, the lone cry of awful desolation from Golgotha’s tree, the death, the grave; when we measure the triumphant shout, ‘It is finished,’ which rent the rocks and raised the dead; when we stand with broken-hearted Mary and sense the never-to-be-fathomed shame and desolation of her Heaven-born Son; when, aided by the Holy Spirit whose function it is to take of the things of Christ and show them unto us (John 16:14), we take into account of the cost of redemption to the Godhead,–we cannot but discern the lightning flashes of a terrible judgment to him who will not respond to the infinite persuasiveness of Calvary… How our generation needs to face squarely the terrible finality of the Cross of Christ. It is the ONLY provision God has made for the malady of sin.”
I once heard heard Canadian TV minister Cal Bombay give a stirring testimony about his redemptive trip to Sudan. He went there with funds to buy Christians out of slavery. The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church has made known the tragic plight of thousands of Christians in Sudan who have been captured and sold into slavery. Cal was able to negotiate with the rebels and purchase the freedom of many believers on his mercy trips. These believers were spiritually redeemed by Christ from the bondage of sin and also financially redeemed by Christian sponsors, gaining freedom from cruel slavery.
What impact should Christ’s gift of redemption have on us? Such love and freedom should inspire us to live for and through our Savior!
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Cor. 5:14,15).
We praise You, Our Redeemer, for valuing us enough to pay the infinite price of the Cross. As believers, we acknowledge Your ownership of our lives through creation and redemption. We depend on Your enablement to live in the freedom of obedience. In Christ’s name, amen.
Conclusion of a 4 part series
 F.J. Huegel, The Cross of Christ–The throne of God, p.103,104,107.
 See http://www.persecutedchurch.org/
Copyright 1998 and 2012 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for noncommercial use with credit given to the author and Grace Notes.