It was Augustine of Hippo who confessed, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they can find peace in you.”1 He certainly spoke for me. In fact, so restless was I one Sunday evening years ago that I called my mother to vent my frustration. “Mom, over the past ten years, I’ve prayed, read the Bible, gone to church, and begged and pleaded with God; but I’m just not getting it.” She listened patiently to my lament and then responded, “I hear you speak of God, but I don’t hear you mention Jesus.” And with so few words, she had gotten to the crux of the matter.
“That’s a sore spot with me,” I replied, “I know the Bible teaches salvation comes through Jesus’ death and resurrection, but I don’t understand why. Why all the drama? Why couldn’t He have just clicked his heels together three times and that be good enough?” (It somehow seemed like a plausible alternative at the time.) Now my mother had been a Bethel Bible Series teacher, and so she summarized the two-year course for me in about five minutes! She shared Leviticus 17:11, where God made it clear that “. . . the life of the creature is in the blood . . . it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” In other words, it takes one life to redeem another life lost.
Then, pulling it all together, Mom said, “In the Old Testament, it was the blood of bulls and goats that was shed for atonement, but that was only a foreshadowing of what was to come. After all, how many goats are you worth? Only God’s life is able to save our life, which was made in His image. Jesus sacrificed His perfect life to pay for our imperfect ones.”
At the heart of redemption is this: Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own.”2 We are so treasured and He loves us that much! For life, which is sacred, costs life that is sacred. No other currency spends in the Kingdom of God. No other funds are sufficient. Jesus’ blood—Jesus’ life—is required and nothing less.
Everything clicked. After saying our goodbyes and hanging up the phone, I went to my room, knelt beside my bed, and entrusted my life to Jesus and His payment for my sins.
And, redeemed, I have rested well.
[Read today’s Scripture in 1 Peter 1:17-21.]
1 Augustine, Saint Bishop of Hippo, The Confessions of Saint Augustine, trans. Rex Warner. (New York: The New American Library, 1963), 17.
2 Titus 2:14
This post is taken from Christ in Me. Copyright © 2016 Paul Nordman. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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