The Consequences of His Death
Over the past couple of months, we have been looking at some consequences of the death of Christ as far as God is concerned. We acknowledge that we are only skimming the surface of this vast subject, and, while much more could be written, we will now consider some of the consequences of His death to those who have trusted Him for salvation. Here again, there is an abundance of material; indeed, all that we have flows from His death. We must confine ourselves to a brief treatment of some of the benefits we have received that are directly attributed, in Scripture, to His death. We will begin by thinking of blessings we came into at conversion, and will consider three – Redemption (this month), Righteousness, and Reconciliation in future months, Lord willing.
There are two main verbs translated “to redeem” in our New Testament. W. E. Vine explains:
Exagorazo – a strengthened form of agorazo, “to buy,” denotes “to buy out” (ex for ek), especially of purchasing a slave with a view to his freedom.
Lutroo – “to release on receipt of ransom” (akin to lutron, “a ransom”) … signifying “to release by paying a ransom price, to redeem.”
While both words are translated “to redeem,” exagorazo does not signify the actual “redemption,” but the price paid with a view to it. Lutroo signifies the actual “deliverance,” the setting at liberty (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words).
Thus, we observe that the two words are closely related in meaning, but, as far as our redemption is concerned, the first (exagorazo, and its related words) refers to the cause (Christ’s death), while the second (lutroo, and related words) refers to the effect (our being set free).
Redemption is one of the great blessings that we came into the moment we trusted Him: “In Whom we have redemption (apolutrosis) through His blood” (Eph 1:7). That the ransom price was the death of the Lord Jesus is clear from the statement that the redemption is “through His blood.” And so the writer to the Hebrews can state that “By His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption (lutrosis) for us” (Heb 9:12).
So, the price paid for our redemption was the blood of Christ. But from what were we released? The first verse quoted tells us: “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph 1:7). In this verse, and Colossians 1:14, the second phrase is explanatory of the first: the redemption consists of “the forgiveness of sins.” Vine states that the word “forgiveness” denotes “a dismissal, release,” and, speaking of the corresponding verb, says that it, “like its corresponding noun, firstly signifies the remission of the punishment due to sinful conduct, the deliverance of the sinner from the penalty divinely, and therefore righteously, imposed; secondly, it involves the complete removal of the cause of offence; such remission is based upon the vicarious and propitiatory sacrifice of Christ.”
This glorious truth has many aspects, one of which is how He dealt with our condemnation by the Law. “Christ hath redeemed (exagorazo) us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ”(Gal 3:13-14). That it was Israel that was “under the law” is true, but the use of “for us” here (believers predominately of a Gentile background), and the explicit reference to “the Gentiles,” along with other passages, such as Romans 3:19 – “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” – shows that the Law demonstrates the guilt of the whole of humanity, not just of the Jew, and thus condemns everyone. In His death, the Lord Jesus fully dealt with that reality, and Paul graphically illustrates it in Colossians 2:14. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.”
Another aspect of our redemption is brought before us by Peter: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (lutroo) with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1Peter 1:18-19). Whether, in referring to the “vain conversation” (the empty, fruitless manner of living before salvation), Peter is speaking of the man-made traditions of the Jews, or of the idolatrous culture of the Gentiles, or both, the fact is that all of us have those things in our history, which we inherit, and which are, at best, worthless. We have been redeemed from them, not by earthly currency, but “with the precious blood of Christ.” We ought never to forget that from which we have been delivered. Paul writes of Him: “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Gal 1:4).
In an earlier article (on His victorious death) we also saw that, through His death, we have been delivered from the fear of death: “That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb 2:14,15).
Thus, there are many wondrous aspects to “the redemption (apolutrosis) that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24). We have been set free from the guilt of sin, and its penalty; the curse of the law, our former manner of life, this present evil age, and the fear of death. But we have more, as we shall see next month, in His will.