Bought Out of Slavery “The redemption of their souls is costly…” Psalm 49:8
The time is 65 A.D. The city is Rome. The place is the slave market. It’s a place where human beings are sold. Slaves were considered property under Roman law and had no legal personhood. They could be subjected to corporal punishment, sexual exploitation, torture or even execution. Purchased slaves could be returned if they did not perform as “advertised” by the slave traders much like someone today purchasing a used car.
A man stands on the block in the slave market. A placard with a number hangs around his neck. Soon the biding will begin.
“How did I end up here,” he mutters.
Suddenly, in the midst of the bidding he hears a man in the back offers an extraordinary amount of money to buy him. He hears voices in the crowd, “Why would any one offer such a sum of money for a slave”?
The high bidder makes his way to the front. The man is pulled off the block to meet his new owner. Even though a slave he is too curious not to lift his head to get a look at his new owner whose face seems to reflect genuine concern.
To his utter amazement he hears words too good to be true; “You are free” his new owner says.
“What do you mean, I am free? You just spent so much money to, ah, to…”
“I think you’re worth it. I paid a high price for you so that I could have the joy of setting you free.”
The man is overwhelmed by the love and grace this stranger has shown him. “If you would do that for me then, if possible, if you would allow it, I’d like to be with you.”
“Follow me,” he said.
This description of the slave market in ancient Rome is what Paul the apostle had in mind when he penned the words, “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7
We were sinners in slavery to sin. We were hopeless and helpless with no way of freeing ourselves. But while we were in this condition; while we were still sinners “Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). By shedding His blood on the cross for our sins Jesus offered a ransom to God, a ransom which God received as a sufficient payment for our freedom. In Him we have redemption!
“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 ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
Freedom is such a beautiful thing. And it is more than just a word or a concept—it is a reality! The blood of Jesus Christ has paid the ransom price. He purchased our freedom. We are no longer slaves to sin. Therefore, let us believe it and live in it! As Paul stated in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” In other words, Jesus did not die and purchase our freedom so that we might continue to live as slaves. We are to “consider ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. “ (Romans 6:11)
Thank you Lord Jesus for setting us free. Now come, and teach us to follow You and walk in the freedom you purchased for us.