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The Joy of Being Ransomed

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Isaiah 51:11

The people of Israel heard these words of Isaiah quite literally, and with deep yearning. They needed to be ransomed from their bondage in Babylon and brought back to Jerusalem. The verb translated here as “ransom” (pada in Hebrew) meant to transfer ownership of something through purchasing it. In a sense, the Israelites needed to be bought back from Babylon so they could be resettled in their own land. As they looked forward to this exchange, they eagerly anticipated the joy of their being ransomed. When God bought them and brought them back, there would be “everlasting joy” as the people would be “filled with joy and gladness” (51:11).

You and I haven’t been ransomed from exile in Babylon. But we have been purchased from a far worse bondage. Jesus, by his shed blood, bought us back from sin and death. We are no longer captive because Jesus has ransomed us.

I’ve been a Christian for more than forty-five years. I must confess that I can easily take my being ransomed for granted. When that happens, not only do I fail to offer God the gratitude he deserves, but also I miss the joy of my salvation. We who have been ransomed by Jesus should experience pervasive, lasting joy. This is not to say we’ll always be happy in a superficial sense. But, beneath our momentary emotions, there should be in us a deep sense of joy, knowing that we belong to the Lord because he has purchased us.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you felt the joy of being ransomed by Jesus? What helps you to live in this joy?

PRAYER: Gracious, Loving Lord Jesus, what a gift it is to have been ransomed by you. Thank you for buying me out of bondage with your own blood. Thank you for the freedom and honor of belonging to you.

O Lord, you know how easily I can take my salvation for granted. Forgive me! And help me to know the “everlasting joy” that comes with the remembrance of your having ransomed me.

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.*

Amen

*“My Jesus, I Love Thee” by William Featherston, 1864

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