Faithlife Sermons

Redemption Purchased

Easter/Good Friday  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Good evening and thank you for joining us for our commemoration service this Good Friday. This year is odd in so many ways but we want you to know that it is our joy to be able to be with you tonight, to be able to open God’s Word together - even though we aren’t technically together - and to look at the truths that it contains. Wherever you are, please take your Bibles and turn with me to . .
I’m sure some of you may be wondering as we turn there why I’m asking you to look at this particular book. I know that it is the last book in the Bible and there isn’t an Easter story. As I was thinking and praying about what I should bring during these uncertain times I kept coming back to the thought that Easter is essentially all about redemption - and there are two key characteristics of that redemption that we’re going to look at starting tonight and then completing our study of this great fact of the Christian faith on Sunday morning. The first characteristic that we’re going to look at tonight is redemption purchased, redemption purchased and then on Sunday if you join us again we will be looking at redemption delivered, redemption delivered. And really you can’t have one aspect of redemption without the other.
So I want to start tonight’s study in the book of Revelation chapter 5 and we’re really going to focus in on one phrase in verse 9 and examine the beauty of the truths that verse contains for us tonight whether we currently profess to know Christ or whether we’ve been drawn here tonight to hear more about what Easter is truly about. If you are joining us for the first time would you please do us the honor of filling out a contact card - the link is pinned right to the top of the facebook feed - so that we can know you were here with us. If this is your first time and you leave us a mailing address we will send out a free gift to you just for joining us tonight.
Now, after that introduction, let’s look together at and we’ll be reading verses 1-10.
Revelation 5:9 CSB
And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slaughtered, and you purchased people for God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Revelation 5:1–10 CSB
Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides, sealed with seven seals. I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it. I wept and wept because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Look, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so that he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw one like a slaughtered lamb standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. He went and took the scroll out of the right hand of the one seated on the throne. When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and golden bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slaughtered, and you purchased people for God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign on the earth.
Revelation 5:1–9 CSB
Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides, sealed with seven seals. I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it. I wept and wept because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Look, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so that he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw one like a slaughtered lamb standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. He went and took the scroll out of the right hand of the one seated on the throne. When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and golden bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slaughtered, and you purchased people for God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.
This is a beautiful passage of Scripture with lots of imagery and even a bit of the pageantry that we can expect in Heaven but what does it really have to do with Easter? The answer to that question is found in the phrases that I really want to hone in on in this passage, that being the content of this new song that the elders sang “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slaughtered, and You purchased people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Specifically for our purposes tonight the phrase “You purchased people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

The Background

Now it is important for us to understand these verses rightly, that we understand the context into which they were written. The Bible isn’t just a collection of random sayings but instead is a cohesive story from beginning to end and all the parts fit together and so in order to understand why this verse is so important we need to understand how it fits into the passage that precedes it. The entire book of Revelation is the recounting of a vision that the Apostle John has on an island called Patmos when he is exiled there for preaching the Gospel. Chapters 4 and 5 are views that he gets into the very throne room of Heaven and he sees and hears the throng of people including four creatures and a group of 24 elders. Chapter 4 describes the throne room to us and then we are privileged to hear the words that are being said or sung with respect to God the Father. In we are told about the four creatures and what they are saying
Revelation 4:8 CSB
Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come.
Revelation 4:
Then a little further down in the chapter we see the 24 elders falling on their faces in worship of God and the words that they say
Revelation 4:11 CSB
Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.
Revelation 4:10–11 CSB
the twenty-four elders fall down before the one seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne and say, Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.
Revelation 4:11
So we see some of the ongoing worship of God that is going on in Heaven. And we need to understand that these songs or spoken word if you will are taking place simultaneously but, unlike the cacophonous noise that may be taking place in many of our households right now with all of our children home and trying to talk or yell over one another, these verses are harmonious and beautifully meld together.
But again why is this important - because the next scene that we see, that we read in our passage just a few minutes ago is that of a mighty angel announcing a proclamation, seeking One who could open the scroll that God holds in His hands. And John weeps because there is no one found who is worthy to open the scroll - or even to look at it. Can you imagine something so holy, so full of power and awe that even to look at it is beyond our capability.
And yet he is encouraged by one of the elders
Revelation 5:5 CSB
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Look, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so that he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
And this promised Lion of Judah who appears as one like a slaughtered lamb steps forward and takes the scroll that no one else could take. And now we come to why all of this is important - because the elders and the creatures fall before Him in an act of worship and begin to sing a new song. Just as they had fallen before God they fall before the Lamb. Just as they had proclaimed the Father, they now proclaim the Son. This is important because this demonstrates to us that the Lamb who was slain, the Lamb who is worthy to take the scroll is God the Son. He is, as the late R.C. Sproul used to say, truly God. He is worthy of receiving, the only One worthy of receiving, the same worship as His Father. And He is portrayed as a slaughtered Lamb. There are many people out there tonight who have a concept of Jesus that is not this concept. They will freely say He was a good moral teacher. They will say that He was a god. They will say that He was an example for us in the way we should live and be okay with that. What they wont, what they can’t say is that He truly is God because that changes the terms they have to deal with Him on. And the deepest implications of those terms are dealt with in the phrase we’re keying in on tonight. That He was slaughtered to purchase a people for God. And the reason that is so important is that He was the only one who could. In order to understand this we need to look at a different passage that contains the same thought. Turn with me to 1 Peter 1:18-19.

The Explanation

1 Peter 1:18–19 CSB
For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb.
Peter gives us four characteristics of our lives that demonstrate why we need to be redeemed. Move your finger up a few verses to verse 14.
Romans 3:23 CSB
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23

Empty Way of Life

1 Peter 1:14 CSB
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance.
The first is our desires. The NASB translates this word epythimia as lusts. The same word used here is used by John in to describe the entire corpus of sins - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life - and specifically the desires of our flesh and eyes. How often do these desires lead us into trouble. James tells us that lust is the root of sin
James 1:14–15 CSB
But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.
David says that we were conceived in sin in . Jeremiah tells us that the heart is more deceitful than anything else and incurable - who can understand it? In . Jesus expands on this telling us
Mark 7:21–22 CSB
For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
Mark 7.
Our core desires from birth are only to satisfy or to gratify whatever lust seizes us in the moment. And this is done in spiritual ignorance from a heart that cannot and is not searching for God. This is not to say that we do not follow or practice a spiritual life - because we are, at our core, spiritual beings and we are all worshipping something. But it is our spiritual ignorance that leads us to worship or to place our trust in things other than God.
All of this leads us to live an empty life - the life lived that doesn’t acknowledge or keep eternity in mind, even the greatest accomplishments are empty. Solomon summed it up best in Ecclesiastes when he wrote
Ecclesiastes 1:2 CSB
“Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Absolute futility. Everything is futile.”
and then later
Ecclesiastes 1:14 CSB
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun and have found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind.
This empty life is one that is inherited from our fathers - whether it is, in the case of Peter’s audience, a religious leader like the Pharisees or a “great” thinker like those in the Enlightenment or a great financial advisor, a great coach, a great leader in world history - any life lived by standards that are contrary to those proclaimed by God is empty. Paul sums the whole thought up best in Romans 3:23
Romans 3:23 CSB
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
But yet there is hope. And there always has been because this plan has existed from before time. But there is also a cost.

You Were Purchased

You see there is a cost that we cannot pay. That is why it is so important to recognize that Jesus was both truly God - not Lucifer’s brother, not just another angel, not just another good teacher - and truly man because only He could pay the price that was required. Our debts were so great that no amount of good works would ever lower the payment. Because of Who our sins are primarily against. David, in , tells us that his sins were against God and God alone. And it is the same way with us. Our lusts, our desires, only draw us away from God preventing us from honoring Him the way we should.
But our freedom from this debt has been made possible. Peter says that we have been redeemed. The word here (lytroo) means to ransom. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament defines it this way - “carries the idea of an equivalent, so that when a fault is covered it is not by cancellation but by a vicarious offering.”
God could not simply forgive the debt of sins and still remain a just judge - there had to be a payment. Tom Pennington said “Jesus didn’t endure God’s wrath. Jesus didn’t experience God’s wrath. Jesus satisfied God’s wrath.” Jesus death on the cross paid the price, it satisfied the debt that you and I had and we incapable of paying. And that payment was the shedding of blood of a perfect, innocent sacrifice capable of covering the sins of the one the payment was made for. And only one person could have done that.

With (By) the Precious Blood of Christ

Think for a moment - what is the most valuable substance on earth? Diamonds? They are worth $55,000 per gram. A substance called Californium is worth $25-27 million per gram. Jade comes in at $170 million per gram. But the most valuable substance on earth is anti-matter which is valued at $62.5 trillion per gram. And every single one of them has no more value than a wooden nickel compared to the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross for you.
The very Son of God. Perfect in every way. Lived a perfect life. Never sinned - not even once despite what some Hollywood movies want to tell you. And yet He was crucified, killed, slaughtered according to our text in Revelation. And all of this was according to the foreordained plan of God.
Acts 2:23 CSB
Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him.
Acts 2:
Acts 2:
And I don’t want to mischaracterize the placement of value in this situation. It was not that we were so valuable that God was willing to pay for us - as we would be willing to pay more for a Corvette than we would a Spark. Or if you’re a Ford enthusiast we would pay more for a Mustang than a Focus. Christ’s blood is precious because of the source - that the very Son of God would shed His very blood, and the size of the debt that was due. Only a valuable sacrifice could suffice such a debt. But Christ took that debt and He nailed it to the cross.
Colossians 2:14 CSB
He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross.
Colossians
This is the most amazing truth in all of Scripture.
Charles Spurgeon said this about Christ’s death
287All other topics in Holy Scripture are important, and none of them are to be cast into the shade. But the death of the Son of God is the central sun of all these minor luminaries. It is the great Alpha and Omega. It is not only eminent, it is preeminent with us.
“All other topics in Holy Scripture are important, and none of them are to be cast into the shade. But the death of the Son of God is the central sun of all these minor luminaries. It is the great Alpha and Omega. It is not only eminent, it is preeminent with us.”
He was left naked on a hillside to die - for sin. A few hours previous the voices had shouted “crucify Him”, “crucify Him”. Can you hear your voice? As you read these passages, as we reflect on what He went through this day can you hear your voice shouting out amongst the throng? Because you would have been. And yet His precious blood was shed for you. The greatest paradox of the ages, the mystery concealed from eternity past is put on display as a common criminal for you.
The fulfilment of the promise given in
Genesis 3:15 CSB
I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.
is broken and bloodied, crying out on that hilltop “It is Finished”. The curtain in the temple rent in two. The way to God is opened through the inestimable price, the inestimable value of His Son’s shed blood. His righteousness given to us in exchange for our sinful rags and efforts. And this was all to prove God’s love for His people.
Romans 5:8 CSB
But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And so there is a Lamb who stands as One who has been slain who is worthy to take the scroll - but there’s more beauty to this truth to behold.

The Beautiful Truth

Now let’s go back to to fill out the rest of this beautiful truth.
Revelation 5:9 CSB
And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slaughtered, and you purchased people for God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.
The beautiful truth of this verse is that we don’t choose who is being saved, we can’t offer it only to a certain group of people but instead there are people from every tribe, language, people and nation. You can add to that every economic status, every education level. While the Gospel is exclusive because it is only offered through One person, it is not discriminatory. The greatest example I can think of is what we are all experiencing right now.
We are seeing a physical example of what sin does in people’s lives right before our very eyes. Right now, worldwide, people are separated and quarantined by a virus. It is irrespective of social status, skin color, age - we are all feeling the effects. It is the same way with sin. Sin isolates. Sin breaks relationships. Sin kills.
But the beautiful truth is that 2000 years ago on a hilltop in Israel a man who was truly God and truly man was lifted onto a cross. He hung there as the foul influence of sin for the first time oozed over His body. He felt the full wrath of God fall on Him as, also for the first time, He could not feel the presence of the Father. He bore the entire wrath of God that was destined for us. He drank that cup to its dregs and died, shedding His blood so that we could be redeemed. So that we could be brought back into the greatest relationship that anyone could ever have - a relationship with God.

Conclusion

If you’re listening tonight and you are a believer already - do you glory in this truth?
If you’re listening tonight and you’ve never recognized this truth - what will you do with this now? On the morning of the crucifixion Pilate asks the question that is put to you now -
Mark 15:12 CSB
Pilate asked them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call the King of the Jews?”
The question for you tonight is what will you do with the One who is proven to be the King of the Jews - who is proven to be the Lion of Judah - who is proven to be the Lamb who was slaughtered all to purchase a people for God. Will you submit to Him as the Lord and Savior who He is or will you continue to see Him as something else, something less, something easily dismissed until that day that Paul promises is coming for all of us
Philippians 2:9–11 CSB
For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9–10 CSB
For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— in heaven and on earth and under the earth—
Philippians 2:
The Lamb that was slain has proclaimed by His shed blood His worthiness not only to open the scroll but to be your King, your Savior and your Lord - will you receive Him?
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