My mom used to collect Green Stamps. When she had enough, she would take them to the store that handed them out and redeem them for some item, maybe dishes or an appliance. The stamps, which had no value in themselves, could be released from their simple collection and used for something more.
Through history, when tribal groups or nations have captured slaves, it has been possible to redeem those slaves. Someone pays a price and the slave is purchased from the slaver. Then the one who was a slave is set free to live a productive life.
An actor who has suffered a bad performance may feel that his career is at an end. A musician who does poorly in front of a group may feel as though her skills are deficient. An athlete who makes a costly mistake during a game may feel as though everyone has given up on him. A good agent, or teacher, or trainer knows that these are the times to push ahead and try again. A good performance will change everything. A reputation can be redeemed.
When we come to Jesus, we are redeemed. That means more than just having our sins forgiven. It means that we are free from sin’s power and that we are released to be of value again. In my heart, I know that being forgiven is important. But if I have to live in the defeated and shamed state of “the one who has been forgiven,” life may not seem like much fun. But Jesus didn’t have that in mind when He redeemed me.
When Jesus redeemed me, He set me free and gave me life. I have work to do, a purpose to fulfill, a life to live. He is my strength and everything is by Him and for Him. I am not just a loser who has accepted His forgiveness. I am something special to Him. I am accepted by Him and acceptable to Him. He wants me. I have value to Him.
That’s something to be thankful for!