Let’s read those precious verses: “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (NKJV).

We learn in this wonderful passage what it COST God to REDEEM us; the “precious blood of Christ.” In “Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words” he defines the word REDEEM as “to buy, denotes to buy out, especially of purchasing a slave with a view to his freedom.” All men were born in sin as we see in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceive me.” Because we were born in sin, we are also “slaves to sin.” Romans 3:9 declares, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that THEY ARE ALL UNDER SIN.” But God loved us and He sent His Son to “redeem us,” to “pay the ransom price to set us free from the slave market of sin.”

The tragedy is that men do not accept what Christ has done. Instead, they try to “redeem themselves.” In Psalm 49:7-8 God reveals how men cannot redeem themselves, “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him—for the redemption of their souls is costly.” In spite of this passage men still try to BUY THEIR WAY INTO HEAVEN, yet we saw in our passage that one is “not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold.” The Psalmist refutes the notion that men can buy their way to heaven and he adds, “for the redemption of their souls is costly.” It is SO COSTLY that it cost God the death of His beloved Son and it cost the Lord Jesus His life! And the blood that Jesus shed on Calvary was the evidence that He did indeed GIVE HIS LIFE AS THE RANSOM PRICE for our souls. On His way to the cross Jesus said He would do this, for we read in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANY.”

In our passage we also learn why the Lord Jesus was qualified to be our Redeemer. After mentioning the blood of Christ, it goes on to say, “As of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” In these simple words we learn that JESUS WAS PERFECTLY SINLESS! All of the animals that were sacrificed in the Old Testament had to be “without blemish and without spot,” showing that God demanded a PERFECT SACRIFICE in order to redeem sinners. Take, for example, the story of the Passover Lamb in Exodus 12. God had told the Israelites to “take a lamb” (verse 3) and that “your lamb shall be without blemish” (verse 5). Again, this lamb, and every other lamb offered up on Jewish altars, pictured the sinless perfection of our holy Savior. The Holy Spirit guards the holiness of the Lord Jesus by telling us He “did no sin” (1st Peter 2:2); He “knew no sin” (2nd Corinthians 5:21); and “in Him is no sin” (1st John 3:5). Had He NOT been sinless, or if He was able to sin, He Himself would have needed a Savior. But because He was indeed holy and incapable of sinning, He was qualified to take man’s place in death and judgment on the cross of Calvary.

Our passage ends by saying, “He was indeed foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you.” God knew before He created the world that man would fall and become a slave to sin, so He predetermined to send His Son to be the Lamb of God to die and to shed His blood for our redemption. Then in time, the Son was manifested (He became Incarnate and eventually laid down His life on the cross) for us. We often sing of “the love that drew salvation’s plan and the grace that brought it down to man,” and I have no doubt that the hymn writer had this verse in view. Have you, my reader, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Redeemer? (288.1) (DO)