No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—so that they should live on forever and not see decay… But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself. —Psalm 49:7-9, 15

“Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ —Acts 26:15-18

What a tremendous truth found here in Psalm 49. “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough.” No amount of wealth can redeem or be paid to keep one from physical death or eternal death— the first death or the 2nd death (Revelation 2:11; 20:6; 20:14; 21:8). Death comes to us all at a rate of 105 people each and every minute. One day we will be one of those people. Yes, physical death comes to us all.

The 2nd death only comes to those who have not been redeemed. This redemption does not come from anything we have done. There are no amount of “good works” or financial compensations that can pay the cost of the eternal sin problem. No, only God could resolve this problem and He did so by sending Jesus into this world—- “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (I John 4:9-10). Jesus “is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2). “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (I Peter 1:18-19). Yes, God did it!

No mere man could redeem us or pay the ransom needed so our sin could be taken away. But Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man was no mere man. He was and is “the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father” (John 1:18). Yes, we are redeemed through the “precious blood of Christ” and “are sanctified by faith in” Him. That is— we are made holy by Him, purified by Him— “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (II Corinthians 5:21). He did the work and now ”the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” because “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). Let us rejoice in God’s awesome gift!

Dear Father, I am grateful for what You have done, are doing and will do for me through Jesus. May I live a life of gratitude through the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son, Jesus. So be it!

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