The last miracle of redemption

I would not say that miracles “abound” in Scripture. 

There are miracles in the Bible.  There are many miracles.  By definition, miracles are astounding, incredible, unusual, and wondrous.  And the miracles of the Bible are all those things.  Think of the miracle of 2 million people crossing the Red Sea on dry land, getting across just in time to sea the water come crashing back into place, drowning the pursuing Egyptians.  And think of a similar account at the Jordan River when Israel entered the Promised Land.  Think about Elijah’s sacrifice and the fire from Heaven.  Think about the shadow going backward on the steps to confirm God’s promise to Hezekiah of 15 more years of life.  Think of the uncomfortable miracle of Nebuchadnezzar, turning into a bizarre animal for seven years — and then returning to normalcy.  Think about Jesus (and Peter!) walking on the water.  Think about Jesus feeding 5000 (and later, 4000) people from just a few fragments of food.  Think about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  Think about Jesus being resurrected (eternally) from the dead.

Yes, miracles happened in the Bible, and they were — well, miraculous!

Some miracles were prominent and seen by many (the pigs inhabited by the Gerasene demoniac’s demons going over the cliff in the fashion of crazed lemmings); some were seen by just a few (Jesus appearing to the disciples in the Upper Room after the resurrection).  Some almost seemed incidental (the woman healed of her hemorrhage), while others are dramatic (like the numerous resuscitations to life of dead people).

It is that last category that should be of greatest interest to believers because it is the one miracle that every believer in Jesus Christ has experienced — dead men have been made new.  When dead people, like Lazarus and Tabitha, were brought to life it pictured the work of God to bring spiritually dead people to life.  Dead in our sins (Eph. 2:1-3), by the grace of God alone, we have been brought to life through the miraculous, life-giving work of the Spirit of God (Titus 3:5 — “regenerate” means to “generate [bring to life] again”). 

So if you have been saved by God, you have experienced one of God’s wondrous, jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring miracles.

And there is another miracle (at least one more) in store for you.  It is what I’m calling the “final miracle of redemption.” 

The first “miracle” is when God saves us by imputing the righteousness of Christ to us — He counts us as righteous even when we are not yet righteous.  He considers us as righteous as Christ, even when we still look and act more like Adam than Christ.  He treats us as righteous because He treats Jesus as righteous, and Jesus’ righteous fulfillment of the Law has been applied to us.

The second and final “miracle” of redemption is when God actually makes us righteous.  Not only will Christ’s righteousness be accounted to us, but there is coming a day when we will actually be fully purified by God.  When we step into Heaven and the presence of God we will have been made completely righteous and clean — sin never again will stain our actions, impure motives will never again entice us, foul and destructive words will never again leave our lips.  On what basis can I make such audacious statements?  By promises from God like this:  “We know that when He appears we will be like Him…” (1 Jn. 3:2).  When Christ comes to take us home to Heaven, we will be like Christ in His righteousness.  Sin will be eradicated and we will be clean.  The tears of our sin will be dried (Rev. 21:4) and we will never again know anything relating to sin and its consequences (like death, Rev. 21:4).  That’s true (Rev. 21:5).

The sadness of this life for the believer is the persistent battle with sin and the ugly consequences of our too frequent failures.  The joy of this life is that there is another miracle coming in which we will be finally and fully redeemed.

Photo by Jakub Kriz on Unsplash

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