- In colonial times, labor was in great demand in America. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, potential immigrant laborers were recruited in Great Britain, Germany, and other European countries, but many who were willing to go could not afford the cost of travel. It was not uncommon for these to travel under an indenture or contract, promising to work after their arrival for a certain period of time without wages as payment for their passage. Others came with the promise that family members already in America would pay their fare upon arrival, but if that didn’t happen, the newcomers were obliged to pay their own costs through indentured service. The term used to describe these indentured immigrants was “redemptioners.” They had to redeem the cost of their passage—in a sense, purchase their freedom—by their labor. Among the most significant of Jesus Christ’s descriptive titles is Redeemer. As indicated in my brief account of immigrant “redemptioners,” the word redeem means to pay off an obligation or a debt. Redeem can also mean to rescue or set free as by paying a ransom.
What a great example of what it means to be a redeemer. Christ has made it possible for us to be redeemed from our sins through His completion of the Atonement. But is it conditional upon us doing our part.
- Because we are accountable and we make the choices, the redemption from our own sins is conditional—conditioned on confessing and abandoning sin and turning to a godly life, or in other words, conditioned on repentance.
Elder Christofferson shares that the Atonement is not only for our sins. It is for our pains, and for injustices that occur in our lives. His Atonement is to make us whole even though some bad things happen to us in our lives.
- Atonement also satisfies the debt justice owes to us by healing and compensating us for any suffering we innocently endure.
As we see the Atonement take place in our lives, we are motivated to have others feel His love in the same way.
- Inasmuch as we follow Christ, we seek to participate in and further His redemptive work.
- While the most important aspects of redemption have to do with repentance and forgiveness, there is a very significant temporal aspect as well. Jesus is said to have gone about doing good (see Acts 10:38 ), which included healing the sick and infirm, supplying food to hungry multitudes, and teaching a more excellent way.
- This kind of redemptive work means helping people with their problems. It means befriending the poor and the weak, alleviating suffering, righting wrongs, defending truth, strengthening the rising generation, and achieving security and happiness at home. Much of our redemptive work on earth is to help others grow and achieve their just hopes and aspirations.
Finally he tells us that as we are redeemed through Christ, there are characteristics that are naturally occur within us as a group of Saints and as individuals.
- As followers of Jesus Christ we are a community of Saints organized to help redeem the needs of our fellow Saints and as many others as we can reach across the globe.
- As disciples of Jesus Christ, we ought to do all we can to redeem others from suffering and burdens. Even so, our greatest redemptive service will be to lead them to Christ. Ultimate redemption is in Jesus Christ and in Him alone.
I loved this example of what a redeemer is. This example makes the term come alive to me and really provides a deep meaning into what Christ has really done for us. What came across to me very powerfully is that the Atonement is not just for sins. It can make us whole in many aspects of our lives. If we are lonely, sad, experienced abuse, or have issues that make our lives difficult, Christ's Atonement is there to make up for those issues. Christ can make us whole in all aspects of our lives and even though He takes our sins, he also takes our pains, hurts, and unfairness from us and can make us whole. It is my hope that we can find deeper meaning in the Atonement and give Christ more than our sins. I hope we will give Him everything we have and ask Him to heal our hearts and lives.
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