Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
Psalms 100:1-5 NLT
GOD IS OUR REDEEMER!
This is the second reason WHY we should give our thanks to God, according to Psalm 100. In Part 1 we discussed the vitality of The WHY; because, without it, the HOW is meaningless. Empty. Void.
Without the WHY we’re just going through the motions of religion and not engaging in a relationship with our Risen Savior. Without the WHY, the HOW is a masquerade of humility, covering up our self-righteousness, idolatry, greed, and pride.
But first, what is a redeemer? And why do we need one?
A redeemer is someone who pays a hefty price or ransom to liberate someone else from a lifetime of bondage, difficulty, or danger. This person usually has been enslaved or imprisoned due to debt or war and is incapable of paying the ransom him/herself. The slave is utterly dependent on the grace and mercy of a redeemer for freedom, and in some cases, salvation from execution.
And we need a Redeemer because:
- We’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23)
- Everyone who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34)
- The sentence for sin is eternal death, aka—complete separation from God for all eternity (Romans 6:23).
Beloved, there’s no way we can pay our ransom because we continue to sin—reinforcing our enslavement. We need a sinless Redeemer who can set us free. A Redeemer who has the means to pay our ransom.
And Jesus Christ, Our Creator, is the only one who can; “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, NLT)
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. (verse 3c)
We are His. He created us and put His image in us (see Part 1). We are the sheep of His pasture, and Jesus is our Shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep…“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” John 10:11-18, NLT
Beloved, no other god has left his splendor with the sole purpose of redeeming a creation that could not redeem itself. No other god voluntarily clothed himself in human frailty to sacrifice His blood, the only acceptable currency, for the ransom payment.
But Jesus did!
Jesus chose TO BE sin for us, to be sin personified; so we could be set free from our slavery to sin and resultant eternal death. Our sinless Creator offered Himself as ransom for our sin so that we could be made right with God! (2 Corinthians 5:21). And it’s by His grace and mercy that He offers us the gift of salvation. We have no reason to brag about it because we can’t earn it, nor is it not a reward for being a good person or doing good things—it’s a gift. Period. (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Like any gift, we have to choose to accept it; just like a prisoner agrees to take a pardon or a slave receives freedom. And we do that when we believe Jesus is the Son of God who paid our ransom and decide to follow Him.
I cannot think of a more mind-blowing reason to give thanks to God than the fact that He is our Redeemer. Jesus became sin. Our sin. So we could be made right with God.
‘Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.’ Romans 5:1-11, NLT
Beloved, we have the opportunity to know God as our Creator and believe and follow Him as our Redeemer, to know that He alone is God and there is NO OTHER and be saved. (Isaiah 43:10-11).
Before we close, I want to ask you: What’s next? Now that you know WHY we should give thanks to God, what are you going to do about it? HOW are you going to say thank you?
If you’re unsure, like my sweet friend was in Part 1, stick with me, and we’ll explore seven ways to show our thanksgiving to Jesus for being our Creator and Redeemer.
‘Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.‘ Colossians 1:15-20, NLT