A Burden Lifted
4 But when the right time finally came, God sent his own Son. He came as the son of a human mother and lived under the Jewish Law, 5 to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might become God's children. 6 To show that you are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who cries out, “Father, my Father.” 7 So then, you are no longer a slave but a child. And since you are his child, God will give you all that he has for his children. – Galatians 4:4-7
I had a burden lifted today. I made the last payment on my car. That lifts a big monthly burden off my back.
Perhaps you have heard of several people paying for all the lay-a-ways at several stores around the country. The people who had the items on lay-a-way were called and told they did not have to pay any more on the items. These people must have felt a burden lifted.
Paul writes in Galatians that God sent his son Jesus to redeem us.
The word ‘redeem’ as used in the Hebrews portion of the Bible has an interesting history. To redeem meant that a person took on the burden of caring for another. For example, if the head of one family died, the head of another family would take on the burden of caring for the deceased person’s family. By taking on the burden of caring for the deceased person’s family, the burden was lifted on that family.
In the Greek portion of the Bible, the word ‘redeem’ has a darker background. It is connected to slavery. One could be a slave for several reasons. One could be a slave because of one’s race. One could be a slave because one owed too many debts. One could be a slave because one was captured in a conflict. The reasons for slavery were many.
Yet, one could be bought or adopted out of slavery. When one was bought out of slavery the word often used was the word ‘redeem’. The redeemed person was now free. In addition, the redeemed person became a child of the ‘redeemer’ or the one who bought the person out of slavery. That meant the newly freed person was an heir of the ‘redeemer’.
The Bible uses the analogy of a ‘redeemer’ to point to Jesus. We were slaves to our sin. However, through his life, his death and his resurrection, Jesus bought us out of slavery. Our burden has been lifted. We are now his children. We are free.
With my burden lifted, and my debt lightened because I paid off my car, I need to decide what to do with the extra money I now have.
Now, with our burden lifted by Christ, what will we do with our new freedom?
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California