Devotional Passage: Galatians 4:3-5
Ask your parents or grandparents sometimes about what it was like to redeem glass soda bottles when they were younger. You see, when your parents and grandparents were kids, soft drinks were still sold in glass bottles. When you finished a drink, you could bring the bottle back, and you’d redeem it for a dime. (This doesn’t seem like a lot, but soft drinks were only fifty cents, so it wasn’t a bad deal.) This concept seems completely foreign to us now. But not too long ago, redeeming a bottle was a cool way to get some value out of something that certainly didn’t seem to have value anymore.
Before we move on with the rest of the Christmas story, we’re going to stop right here and focus on this idea of redemption. After all, yesterday we looked at Jesus’ birth for the sole purpose of making sure we reflect on it for the week and a half we have remaining before Christmas. So why not look at one way Paul described Jesus’ mission to help us reflect on it even more?
Turn to Galatians 4. Galatians is the Apostle Paul’s letter written to the Christians in the Roman province of Galatia. In these verses, Paul speaks to the reason why Jesus came to earth: “to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” The picture of redeeming bottles that we mentioned at the outset of this devotion is an interesting parallel. You see, empty bottles have no intrinsic value. They’ve been robbed of their purpose. But by redeeming them, the bottler is giving them value. The same is true for us.
You see, sin robbed us of our purpose too. Humankind’s original sin destroyed the relationship between God and people. We were left broken and used up. Until Jesus redeemed us. By going to the cross in our place, Jesus placed a value on us. He said, in essence, “Your life is worth my life. I will give my life to redeem you.” This is why Jesus came. This is what He accomplished.
What ended on the cross started in a manger. A miraculous birth made an atoning death possible.
Think about this:
• How does the fact that Jesus has redeemed us of our sins empower you to live a life of purpose on this earth?
• We all get down from time to time. How can the truth that Jesus died to redeem your life help lift your spirits when things get tough?