I am Redeemed

From the Mouth of a Sailor

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:6-8, NKJV

What it is about the sea that would harden a man? Isolation, perhaps? The limited company of other seamen who have also been calloused?

Intriguing question, best left to those who specialize in human behavior. Maybe the real question for me would be how does that hardened seaman become a Christian? A flagrant enemy of God, arrogant and derisive. So calloused to both God and man that he takes upon himself the business of slave trading without so much as a tickling in his conscience. What causes such a man to spin a 180?

John told us. Grace. Amazing grace. A grace that pursued him over more than two decades. Across the span of countless ocean journeys, three continents, military service and ultimately into the devil’s work. Think Amistad. That’s John’s business. Cruelty. Cold blooded murder. Kidnapping, human trafficking. Slavery.

Why would the God of love pursue such a man? Why wouldn’t the God of justice strike him dead in his heinous sin? He sent an abyss in Newton’s soul, rather than taking his breath. He demonstrated power in a hurricane, but withheld destruction in the storm. Why would the King of Heaven go to such lengths for one despicable man?

Grace. Unfathomable love. Mercy unparalleled. Favor so Divine it turns the soul from darkness to light. The same unmerited favor that is poured out upon me. That chose to redeem me rather than lose me.

Amazing grace.

I am Redeemed

I am Redeemed: A Joint Post

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians. 2:4-6, NASB

From Jen

I was blinded by the devil, born already ruined. Stone cold dead as I stepped out of the womb. . . Lyrics from Third Day’s Saved.

Words that paint a grim picture.

I was thinking today about being redeemed–how can that churchy idea be communicated? A scene from the moving The Green Mile came to mind.

It’s execution day. Can you forget how the condemned man walks down that last path in life. Slumped. Beaten. Terrified.

“Dead man walking! Dead man walking!” The jailer cries out, a little too pleased for such an ominous occasion.

What does that mean? He’s not dead yet, after all.

It means he’s condemned. Good as dead. Hopeless.

This is every sinner. Each one is one heartbeat away from death. All are walking that green mile. And Satan snickers, “Dead man walking!”

This is me. Except I have been redeemed . . .

From Susan

As I was walking that prison hallway toward the lethal-injection table, Jesus stopped the jailer.

“No. I’ll die for her. She’s mine.”

The jailer sputtered. “But you haven’t done anything wrong. It wouldn’t be right to kill you instead of her. She deserves that needle.”

“Indeed. She does. But she’s mine.”

The jailer took off my shackles and put them on Jesus’ feet. He opened the door of the prison and ushered me into the green field of freedom beyond. As the heavy door slammed behind me, I knew.

I was His. He redeemed me. And for the rest of my days, I would belong to Him. Every breath I took would be because He died in my place. And every moment I lived would rightfully, legally belong to my Redeemer.

He bought my life. I’ll live it for Him.