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Redemption out of Pawn     From Nothing but the Blood Audio
. . . knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.  —1 Peter 1

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. —Titus 2

So what if God was telling us what He was going to do from the beginning? We’re in a time when the world is looking for less discussion of what will/should/needs to be done. We measure results.

If the entirety of Scripture was pointing toward Calvary, what did Jesus on the Cross actually do for us? If that was God’s solution for working through His and my/your/our non-negotiables, then let’s measure what the blood of Jesus did. In the context of this series, over the next six installments, we’ll look at the six things that the blood of Jesus did.

But if you’re not careful, you’ll miss it.

See, there’s some words (redemption, remission, justification, reconciliation, cleansing and peace) that, in a church-y {technical term} context, we tend to glaze over.

Fight it. In each of these six things that the blood of Jesus did, I’m going to give you a context that will make those church-y words mean something real in your life. That’s a promise.

So, first, the blood of Jesus provided REDEMPTION of our souls.  Consider this story:

A Man inherits a fortune, but from the beginning, he makes decisions/signs commitments that guarantee that he’ll be bankrupt. He doesn’t know that (of course) and he throws big parties at his home. Each time, he’d gather a group around the mantle and point to his great treasure and say, “You see that? It’s my pride and joy. If I lose everything else, I’ll never give that up. I’ll hang it over the fireplace in my shack.”

Well, you know how this story ends. The Man is in a shack and, one day, it gets so bad, that he pulls his treasure off the wall and takes it to pawn. In the pawn shop, the Owner gives the Man a ticket. Preprinted on that ticket is a date and the Man has until that date to REDEEM his item. The Man walks out knowing that he'll never have enough to REDEEM it.

Later, a Stranger comes in to the pawn shop. Walking to the counter, he opens his jacket and pulls out a stack of big, red, thick foreign currency notes. The Owner of the pawn shop runs over to the Stranger who has picked out the Man’s treasure from the wall. The Stranger begins laying out the red foreign bills one after another after another while the Owner struggles to count up all that the Stranger is paying.

Pretty soon, the Stranger has REDEEMED the Man’s treasure. But the Stranger doesn’t stop.

Again, again, again the Stranger lays down thick stacks of red foreign bills. The Owner is totaling as quickly as he can until the Stranger has REDEEMED the Man’s entire fortune. But the Stranger still doesn’t stop until he was empty.

As the Owner catches up, he realized that this Stranger has REDEEMED the Man’s treasure. He has REDEEMED the Man’s fortune. And the Stranger has REDEEMED every expense that the Man will have for the rest of his life.

Excited at the scene, a Woman sidles up next to the Stranger. “Betcha can’t wait to tell that Man what you done?”

The Stranger smiles and writes out a note and sends it to the Man.

What happens if the Man never reads that note? What happens if he reads it, but never returns to the pawn shop? Although his fortune has been REDEEMED, if he fails to return and claim it, the Man will continue to live in poverty.

One of the great things about writing this is the discipline of knowing it has to be right. Scripture contains 108 instances of the word redeem and another 33 instances of redemption. As I looked through some of the New Testament instances, REDEMPTION was often associated with how we are to act BECAUSE of the redemption.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m that Man. You’re that Man. We’re that Man. Jesus is the Stranger and evil, the world and sin is the pawn shop holding all our treasure. I’m embarrassed to say it, but sometimes I even take a shift in the pawn shop. We all do. Sin ruins everything and my/your/our inability to not sin makes us complicit in it.

And that note, that the Man wrote—I’ll bet you’ve got a copy of it in your car or in your home. There’s a copy of it in most every hotel room in America. What happens if it goes unread? Or what happens if we read it, but don’t do anything about it?

l love you.          

This is the twelfth part in a multi-part post expanding on an exceptional talk Billy Graham gave at the University of Cambridge in 1955 with influences from Tim Keller's sermon series Christ: Our Treasury (The Book of Hebrews). To hear an overview of this material, consider listening to the original Nothing but the Blood audio, linked here (it'll stream from a mobile device), read all the posts to date by clicking #nothingbuttheblood, or hear the most recent version of the Nothing but the Blood talk by streaming it on the player, below. If you'd like to get these posts sent to you via email (and you're not already), click here to register and make sure to tell us that you're a Back Porch Friend.

The next in this series, Part 13. Remission Impossible: A Child's Logic is available by clicking here.                                                                                          

The above media player has something new on it. I've mastered the audio a bit to make it sound a little better and added a new intro and close. I'd love to hear your feedback on it down below. Just click play and it'll stream from your computer, tablet or mobile device.
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