Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Purchased by and for God
by Tom Goodman
March 10, 2010

Lou Johnson was a star player for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1965 World Series, but drug and alcohol abuse cost him everything from that magical season.  To feed his addiction, he sold his uniform, glove, and the bat he used to hit the winning run in the deciding game.  Most painful to him, though, was the loss of his championship ring to a drug dealer in 1971.

When Dodger president, Bob Graziano, learned that Johnson's World Series ring was about to be auctioned on the Internet, he immediately wrote a check for $3,457, bought the ring, and gave it to Johnson.  The old outfielder, clean and sober for years, wept, saying, "It felt like a piece of me had been reborn."

We believers know the feeling.  Jesus paid a great price to recover what we lost through sin.

Redeemed... purchased... ransomed.  That's an image the Bible writers returned to again and again to describe what happened on the cross.  In at least 18 places the word "redeemed" is used.  In six places the Bible speaks of Jesus's death as "buying" or "purchasing" us.  In at least two places the Bible says Jesus "liberated" or "set us free."  I especially like how Ephesians 1:14 says we are God's "purchased possession."

The image of redemption actually began with Jesus, who said he came "to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).  But what did he redeem us from... and what did he redeem us for?

This Sunday we'll answer that question as we continue our series called Cross-Purposes.  During the four Sundays of March we're looking at four biblical images that explain why Jesus died for those he would call to himself.  As we approach Easter, we'll visit the altar, the marketplace, the courtroom, and the laundry room.  Each of those images reveal the meaning of Christ's death:  Christ absorbed God's holy anger that burns against our impurity; Christ bought us for himself; Christ exchanged moral records with us to enable us to pass the Judgment Day; and Christ washed us clean.  You can review the sermons at our website.

Join us at the foot of the cross this Sunday @ 10 and every Sunday in March.  Can you think of a better way to spend the month leading up to Easter?


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored," with its Links to Your World -- interesting and informative links, posted every Tuesday.

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