Note: This series of Holy Week devotions is taken from Dr. Albert Reyes’ upcoming book, The Jesus Agenda: Becoming an Agent of Redemption.
Sunday, March 29: Redeemed and Reconciled
It has been said that redemption is not a dot – it is a line, a continuum of past, present and future. Central on that continuum is Easter, for without Easter, without the resurrection, there is no redemption.
Jesus is the author, the initiator, the architect of redemption. It is his movement in the world, in history, and in our lives to rescue us from the dominion of darkness. To be redeemed is to be rescued out from (ek) the power (exousias) of the kingdom of darkness (skotous) in which we were held as slaves.
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Colossae, says we were rescued out of the grip of darkness. Exousias is a sphere of power and authority, especially in the spiritual sense. Skotous used with exousias is a sphere of darkness, of future punishment, and the power of the underworld. It’s like saying, “dragging a person out of battle or the jaws of danger.” This is the domain of Satan and his demons, a spirit world that is not always visible but whose atmosphere and impact is unmistakable to everyone who has ever been in its grip.
When Jesus comes to rescue us from the dominion of darkness, our sins are forgiven and we are eternally free from spiritual slavery. We are transferred to this sphere of spiritual authority; we are free to believe and live according to the truth rather than a lie. What was stolen is restored. What was killed is resurrected back to life. What was destroyed is remade through our relationship with our redeemer, Jesus Christ.
It is through redemption that we are reconciled to God and brought into his kingdom. The very word “atonement” means “at one with God.” Our reconciliation with God through redemption is being made right with God by God. It is his work of grace and our unmerited favor. Paul said in Colossians that through Jesus Christ, God reconciled all things to himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross. Nowhere in scripture is God reconciled to us. Rather, God reconciles us to himself. He does the work and then he gives the ministry of reconciliation to us as his ambassadors, his agents of redemption and reconciliation.
Second Corinthians 5:18-20 tells us God reconciled us to himself through Christ and “gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” Therefore, “we are ambassadors for Christ.”
Reflection: How will you serve as an ambassador for Christ today?
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