Good Friday - Redemption

Redemption. I love this word. I love this concept. I love this promise from God. Today it feels like life has been turned upside down, scrambled, and a bit strange. But in the middle of this storm there is beauty and glimpses of redemption, like families sitting around the table for dinner, honking and clapping in appreciation for healthcare workers, and so many teachers going the extra mile to connect with their students. We all long to be on the other side of this pandemic. Until that day, we pray, we hope, we wait, just like Anna did long ago.

Anna was a prophetess. What a way to be remembered! What we learn of Anna in Luke 2 is limited, but powerful. She was "very old," widowed when very young, and spent a lot of time worshiping God and praying. Hoping. Waiting. The themes from last week come alive in a new way when I imagine the seasoned prophetess, nothing to gain, nothing to lose, just worshiping in the temple, one (of many) days she spent waiting on God's promise. And in come Joseph, Mary, and little Jesus.

Coming up to them at that very moment, she [Anna] gave thanks to God and spoke about the child [Jesus] to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. — Luke 2:38, NIV

Anna had spent hours, days, years waiting for the One she believed would bring redemption. Then one day, she got to see Him with her own eyes. She got to share with her own lips to "all who were looking forward." Although she wasn't alone in her hope, her journey was unique as a young widow who devoted her life to prayer and waiting on God. And on that day, she got the answer to her lifelong prayer — redemption is here!

The love of Jesus brings redemption! As you watch the story of Mariana* today, remember you, too, have the opportunity to pray for redemption over the life of someone who is hoping and waiting for rescue. The tragedy is real and has a profound effect on our world. But we are not alone in our hope. We are together, the Body of Christ, in seeing God’s redemptive love play out in a million different ways on the earth today. Perhaps a neighbor who has been furloughed during this pandemic, a loved one who tested positive, the doctors and nurses working to save lives, or a mom finishing out the school year at home with her children. Today there are many near and far who need prayer, who need hope, who are waiting.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. — Romans 8:18, NIV

This Easter week, remember that each of us will walk our own journey of suffering in this life. But we can rejoice in the sacrifice Jesus made for us! Because of Him, hope is alive! This hope has carried generations of frail humans to this year, this day, this hour. This week, declare with your own life that redemption is here!

Don't forget to watch Mariana's story below!

In this together,
Candace

 

*name changed to protect privacy

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. — Isaiah 1:17, NIV