It’s almost the season of redemption, the season of Easter, celebrating the redemptive work of God in the raising of Jesus from the dead. Redemption gets fixed in time as a concrete event when “Easter the event” becomes definitive of God’s redemptive work as if it is God’s only redemptive work.
When I hear that people think Jesus is the only way to experience God’s redemption I am puzzled; is that the only redemptive work God has ever done? Biblically speaking, the answer to that question is decidedly “No.” Historically speaking as a person of faith, I can also say, “No.” because I see the redemptive work of God through the events of people’s lives.
The resurrection story gets reduced to a tale of magic when viewed this way, as the only means to experience the redemption of God. Redemption is not sleight of hand magic; redemption is messy work, hard work. Think of the redemption needed by the people and land around the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. It’s going to take a lot of work to clean up that mess. It’s going to take centuries for the environment to repair itself.
Redemption requires effort and time. The promise we have from God is that we will not be left alone, abandoned while we work with God over the course of our lifetime. Death itself cannot cut us off from the source of our energy, effort, patience and perseverance.
Which word describes God’s redemptive work in YOU today?