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Ephesians 1:7 (ESV) … “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…

Paul is explicit regarding the fact of redemption: “In him we have redemption through his blood” (v. 7a). What does he mean?

A story which has captured and informed young imaginations for years is helpful here. In a city on the shore of a great lake lived a small boy who loved the water and sailing. So deep was his fascination that he, with the help of his father, spent months making a beautiful model boat, which he began to sail at the water’s edge. One day a sudden gust of wind caught the tiny boat and carried it far out into the lake and out of sight. Distraught, the boy returned home inconsolable. Day after day he would walk the shores in search of his treasure, but always in vain. Then one day as he was walking through town he saw his beautiful boat — in a store window! He approached the proprietor and announced his ownership, only to be told that it was not his, for the owner had paid a local fisherman good money for the boat. If the boy wanted the boat, he would have to pay the price. And so the lad set himself to work doing anything and everything until finally he returned to the store with the money. At last, holding his precious boat in his arms, he said with great joy, “You are twice mine now — because I made you, and because I bought you.”

Just so! Redemption is payment of a price or ransom. The price was Christ’s own blood, and the object was our souls. All humanity was in the slave market of sin and thus powerless to affect self-deliverance, but Christ has purchased his Church with an infinite price as the

Scriptures repeatedly attest:

  • 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 forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:18, 19)

  • [Jesus] entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12b)

  • [Jesus came] “to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

  • Our redemption cost the whole life of Christ — an astounding mystery which the prophets puzzled over and which angels “long to look into” (cf. 1 Peter 1:10–12).

This too is cause for great celebration, and that is why it is so prominent in Paul’s song of praise. In fact, it is such a source of cosmic wonder that in eternity men and angels will join together to sing a new song, as Revelation records:

  • And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:9–12)

We will sing this song with the angels, but the best part is ours because we are “twice his,” having been created by him and then being redeemed by his blood![1]

[1] Hughes, R. K. (1990). Ephesians: the mystery of the body of Christ (pp. 29–33). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.


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