17. Sacrifice II: Redemption
Who got paid and what did Jesus buy?
17. Sacrifice II: Redemption
In the last two letters, I said some things that I want to bring in now and examine.
First – The first part of Sacrifice we call Redemption. The second part is to win our hearts, and the third part is to change our minds. – Then I also said this:
– There are a number of “ideas” concerning the sacrifice of Jesus, what it means, in Christianity that come by the traditions and arguments of human reason. Here are some of them.
• Jesus was “punished for our sins.”
• Jesus “took our place upon the cross.”
• Jesus “paid a debt that we owed, but could not pay.”
• Jesus died “because of” our sins.
These ideas do not sound right to me, nor consistent with the revelation of Jesus Christ and the being and purposes of God, thus I must know what God actually says. – This this study:Sacrifice: The Verses.
I want to address these false ideas first, then we will go through the three applications of Sacrifice to us.
Now, I will not use one verse from the Old Covenant in this study. God commanded Adam not to live by the law, by word on the outside of himself. Thus most of what God says in the Old Testament was not to reveal Himself – Jesus did that. Rather, most of God's speaking and showing Himself in the Old Testament was to amplify this way of living by humans, each in their bubbles, trying to do a word always on the outside of themselves – so that we would simply despair of such a way of living and stop it. Just stop it.
But we cannot stop our endless cycle of self-exaltation/self-condemnation by any other means than the entrance of Word as Person into us. And since God does not rape, that entrance must come only through faith.
Thus to know the Sacrifice of Jesus, I want ONLY what God says in the New Testament with Paul's gospel as its defining core, and confirmed by John. In so doing, I want to exclude all other thought.
Let's start with punishment. Show me one verse in the New Testament (not counting the non-canonical portions of 2 Peter and Jude) that indicates that punishment comes out from God to execute His just indignation on those who “broke” His righteous law. The reason you won't find any such reference is that God did not want anyone living by the law in the first place, that's why He told Adam to leave it alone.
If punishment as an action of God against His creation does not exist, then it is even less surprising to find not one verse or phrase or word that even suggests that God took that punishment by which He had planned to punish us and punished Jesus instead.
So where does the concept of “punishment” come from, if God does not punish?
And we distinguish entirely between “punishment” and “chastisement.” Punishment is without hope. Chastisement is Hope revealed. I have never punished my children – ever. I consider such a thought to be demonic, because it is. I have, however, chastised them. I remember saying something like, “This pain is not because of what you did, but for what you will become.”
There is punishment, yes, but punishment is ALWAYS self-inflicted.
You see, inside this bubble, now become a sin-bubble, that is, an unending story-telling of arrogance and fear, a human or angel – no difference, is miserable. But since he/she/it thinks so highly of self, self looks outward for SOMEONE to blame. “You are the cause of my misery. If you would just STOP, I would be happy.”
Now, some hiding in their little sin-bubbles might blame themselves. But there really is no difference between blaming others and blaming self – both are just a devious way to get at God, both are raising the accusation of the serpent, railing against God.
God, I hate the way You made me.
Blame also comes out of the nature of the human, for man is like God, a judge.
Now, in my screaming of blame against others, I can curse you, I can defame you in public, I can steal from you and beat you with whips. I could even kill your body. But what I cannot do is enter into your bubble, not without your consent. The truth is, in spite of all the loudness of their rage, both humans and demons are 100% impotent. They can't even extend their blame out from their own little wall. All the noise is just smoke and mirrors.
Thus all the horror intended to punish others comes only back upon the sorry little person screaming inside his, her, or its little sin-bubble.
All punishment, all condemnation, is self-inflicted.
Let's clarify here the relationship between humans and demons. You can bring a wild and ferocious dog into your house. You can be scared of that dog. But here's the deal: you are the master; the dog is just a servant. It is not possible for any dog, no matter how big and scary, to rule over a man. A human who would fight a dog at the level of the dog, body to body, is foolish. Most would pick up a gun and shoot the dog. Have you ever heard of a wild dog shooting a human?
The issue of deliverance is not to get demons to let go of their humans, but to get humans to let go of their demons. Man is the master; he uses demons for his own pleasure. “Demon possession” means the demon is owned by the man, not the other way around. What good does it do to say to people “Demons have no hold on you,” when they are the ones who like having them around as their special pets? To fight a demon at the level of the demon, spirit to spirit, is foolish. Most real humans will simply give thanks and place the demon and all its effects into the God always flowing through them. Have you ever heard of a wild demon giving thanks inside the Blood?
Only those who love Jesus more, putting Him upon themselves, will let go of their demons.
Forgiveness of others we have “blamed” always precedes any experience of deliverance.
So, here is this sorry little human, punishing itself inside its own little bubble, all the while imagining it is actually punishing others. The first part of redemption is that compassion in the heart of Jesus that would soothe and calm the useless and awful self-infliction of punishment.
God comes, not to punish, but to cause punishment to cease.
That's the first reason He suggests that we shut up. It is only a person who knows without question, “I am the guilty one, in all ways. I can never make myself not guilty,” who will allow God to soothe their self-punishment by bringing them to silence before God. This is part of what I mean when I say, as I heard from other precious brethren, “Justify God.” But in justifying God, we do not blame ourselves, rather, we shut our mouths.
The only way to cause self-punishment to cease is to stop our endless sin-story, the first part of redemption.
Jesus did not “take our place” upon the cross. If we were not, literally and actually, inside of Him, then His death was just one more of billions. If we do not see His Sacrifice out from His eyes, then even though we were, literally and actually, inside of Him, we cannot know it.
But it is the third misconception that is the BIG one. If we can alter this third misconception into the truth, then we will also answer the second and the fourth. “Taking our place” and “dying because of our sin” both vanish as we know the real truth concerning the idea that Jesus “paid a debt that we owed, but could not pay.”
Redemption means the payment of a ransom. Redemption is not used often in the New Testament, but it is there at the core.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7
Redemption through Blood and the forgiveness of sins are two different, though closely related, things.
Let's look at forgiveness of sins first. Here is the picture Jesus gives us.
Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. Matthew 18:23-27
Forgiveness does NOT require payment. (All verses on forgiveness agree with that claim.) God forgives out from His heart. The “debt” is cancelled; no payment is made. God is not out to prove the justice of His law, but the integrity of His Word. It is the Word, the sword, coming out of Jesus' mouth, that cancels all sin.
Father, forgive them.
– For they do not know what they do was added for our sakes, not for either Jesus or the Father's sake.
Those words were spoken out from and as the highest expression of God's image. By those words alone all sin – all – was forgiven by God in that instant. There is no other possibility. Those Words of Jesus, the sword of His mouth, justified, and thus fulfilled, the entire law of God.
Yes, God requires restitution. But that restitution comes out of the overflowing joy of Christ revealed; it cannot come as “payment” for sin.
What, then, is the relationship between the sword of Jesus' mouth that eliminated all sin, and the Blood? Those words, “Father, forgive them,” were spoken out from Blood. That trail of Blood began in Gethsemane, first staining the face of a man rising to His feet. Blood flowed in the High Priest's presence and tracked the steps to Pilate's porch. More Blood flowed there, and more still drizzled its way to Golgotha. There on the tree, more Blood was opened up, and in that Blood streaming across His face and from His hands and His feet, Jesus spoke the words that cancelled all consequences of sin. “Father, forgive them.” But it was after those words, a few hours later, that the particular Blood of Redemption flowed out of Jesus' side, out from His Heart.
That Blood was out from a Life laid down; it was Love poured out.
Redemption is payment, that is clear. The One who made the payment is clear – Jesus. The form of the payment is clear – Blood, that is, Life.
What was never, ever clear, is who got paid? I have never in all my life heard or read anyone who considered with any kind of clarity who it was that got paid? Yes, we all assumed, but our assumptions were mostly fog and pure baloney.
It's not hard at all, actually, to discover who it was that got paid; all we need do is follow the money.
Who got paid?
More than that, what, exactly, did Jesus buy with His money? And yes, Jesus' Blood is the highest representation of valuation in the universe. One drop is worth more than the universe. Yet His Blood is the appearance, the figure, the representation of His LIFE first and His labor second.
Who got paid and what did Jesus buy?
Let's go into that murky fog and bring up the candidates. We can eliminate Jesus as the One who got paid because it is clear that His payment cost Him everything. The only two candidates in the fog are God or the devil. Which of those two got paid? You see, we must eliminate sin and death as candidates because neither one are anything in themselves. Sin is simply the actions coming out of a very false story and death is simply cessation, when something temporal ceases. Neither sin nor death has any capacity to receive payment.
Nicene Christianity blindly assumes that it was God who got paid. But look at the root of their thinking. They imagine that God accepted as satisfaction the pain inflicted unjustly upon Jesus. They imagine that God was paid, not the Blood of His Son, but the pain of His Son. They imagine that pain and torment, hurt and suffering are the very thing God values and accepts as payment in order to let us off the hook. They imagine that if God does not get this pain and hopeless torment from “Jesus in our place,” then He will demand its payment from us.
Is this demonic or what?
What does God say?
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son . . .
God was as much a part of the One making the payment as Jesus was.
Who got paid?
Was the devil paid so that he would have to let go of us? What did the devil get out of the deal?
First, the devil never “had” us. It was man who had hold of the devil. We cannot say that the devil lost everything, though it certainly appears that way. We cannot say that the devil lost everything because he possessed nothing outside of his own little bubble in the first place.
Yet it is clear that the devil made it out of this deal with nothing.
Who got paid? – Follow the money.
You see, this is so very important. We know God by experience; we know Him by love. But legality, the legality of contract, is of utmost importance. We cannot say, “Christ is my life,” except we know the absolute legal ground upon which that claim is made.
One word contains all of that absolute legal ground that must undergird all that we are and experience in God. That word is Redemption.
Who did Jesus pay and what did He receive in exchange for His payment?
“A life for a life.” Yes, those words come out of a movie, Man on Fire, with Denzel Washington, a terrible and powerful story that I have watched quite a few times. Yet that story, as all great stories must be, is simply a reflection of the real story of God. And thus those words, in the context in which they were spoken in that story, are the same as ours.
“A life for a life.”
It appears to the ignorant that it was the kidnappers who received Denzel's character's life in payment, but the criminals received nothing. They lost nothing, either, because what they held was never theirs. (I intend to write more out from Man on Fire in the next letter, along with the movie, Taken, with Liam Neeson.)
Who got paid? And what did Jesus buy? – Let's follow the money.
We have this treasure in earthen vessels.
Christ Jesus became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. – We have received the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. – We have the mind of Christ. – For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 1 Corinthians 1-3
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8
He who overcomes shall inherit all things. Revelation 20
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. – The riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence. – You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. Ephesians 1
You know that we could go on and on, filling these pages with endless verses that demonstrate without any question who it was that made off with the loot.
We are the ones whom Jesus paid.
And this is the testimony: that God has given us the life of the age to come, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life . . . 1 John 5:11-12
Christ who is our life. Colossians 3
Jesus paid His life, represented by His Blood, to us; we possess His life as our own, our most valued possession. We also possess as our own everything else in God and in the universe.
We are the ones who were paid the ransom money.
What did Jesus buy?
I ask God right now to give me the words to birth in us the full understanding of what it was that Jesus bought. I speak forth the Holy Spirit to attend these words as I write them and you read them, that they might birth in us a knowledge of Christ as the foundation of who and what we are.
Jesus bought your sin.
Jesus did not “buy” you as His possession; He would never do such a thing. He will marry only those who wed themselves to Him freely out from the integrity of their own heart. Jesus does not buy His bride; He wins her heart. (This statement does not conflict with Paul's word in 1 Corinthians 6 that we were bought with a price, which I will bring into the picture in a bit.)
Jesus bought your sin.
Jesus bought your sin, and your sinfulness and your stupidity, your wickedness and your actions of wrongful doing, your iniquity and your mistakes. Jesus bought your body, your flesh, with all of its propensity to do what it should not do, and He bought your spirit that contained all hostility against God.
Jesus bought the deception and wickedness of your heart in all of your conniving against God and blaming God and others for your own misery. Jesus bought your unthankfulness, your hatred, your screaming anger, and your sick lusts.
Jesus bought your flesh; Jesus bought your sin.
“A life for a life.”
Jesus did NOT buy your obedience. Jesus makes no one His slave. You see, if Jesus bought your obedience, then His purpose was to call you forth as a liar. Because no matter how righteous a person pictures him or herself to be, they are not obeying.
But Jesus did buy from you your lie, your deceitful and arrogant claim that you do and will obey.
Jesus pulled out of His wallet ready cash, His blood, paid that cash to you in order to purchase from you all of your iniquity. You now possess the cash, all the Life represented by that Blood. He possesses all of your sin, your entire sin-story.
Over and over, God says that Jesus died FOR our sins. That is, He paid you His life to buy from you all sin.
Let's have this picture clear. You go into a store, take a cart around, and put things from the store into your cart. Then you go up to the sales clerk at the cash register. You take everything out of your cart that you wish to purchase and give those things to the clerk. At this point, the clerk (as the representative of the store owner) not only owns those items, but also has them in hand.
We must understand exactly what happens next. The clerk gives you a price. You pull out your wallet and give the entire value of what you are purchasing to the clerk. For a brief moment, the clerk, as the owner of what you are buying, has in hand both your money and your purchased possessions. However, the moment the clerk takes in hand your money, the clerk is now bound by all law of God and man to deliver into your hand the items which you bought.
A clerk who takes your money, but keeps hold of the items which you purchased, is a thief. Yes, for a brief moment those items appear to be in the hand of the clerk; thus the clerk has what are the unfolding through moments of time to deliver those items into your hand. But from the very instant the clerk receives your money, everything you bought belongs utterly to you and not to the clerk at all.
Your sin belongs utterly to Jesus; it belongs to you not at all.
Do you see the horror of Nicene Christianity? They have turned the gospel into the exercise of theft, a continual attempt to hold the payment in one hand and to claim possession of what Jesus purchased in the other.
Your sin does not belong to you; you have no right to claim it as your own. Your flesh, your weakness, you're propensity to do what is wrong, does not belong to you; you have no right to claim it as your own.
“A life for a life.”
But let's turn this picture around. Jesus does not take what He purchased, your sin and your sinfulness, until He first places the entire payment entirely into your hand as your very own possession. FIRST.
Christ is always all first BEFORE anything not Christ could ever vanish away.
SO – what does Jesus do with your sin the very instant He takes possession of it?
You see, there is a room in God called the empty tomb. Your sin is in that room. Go there right now, purchase a plane ticket, fly to Jerusalem, drive just north of the city to Golgotha and look at the little rooms carved into the rock. Will you find a dead body there?
What dead body? What sin? What dead body? What sinfulness?
Now, let's look at the progression of God in substance becoming known, springing up ever within us, calling Himself out into view, first in the form of a servant, that is, Word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5
Do you see how the knowledge of God coming to us as reflected in my letter, “The Form of God,” changes everything we read in the Bible. This word in John's gospel means one thing to separated Christianity, trying to force outward appearance upon God as His form, and it means something entirely different to those who know God as the One who is, by this pattern, continuously springing up from within them as fountains of living water, as fountains of God calling Himself into view. Ek-kenosen, calling out of nothingness, calling those things that be not (an Invisible God) as though they are (God-revealed).
God, formless Substance, unfolds as Word, still Substance (God), but form as well, the form of a servant, then further unfolding as life, life that exists only in Word, and then that life becoming light, understanding, the knowledge of God, God by appearance, God coming into view, God unfolding Himself into space and time, God manifest in the flesh.
So, what is another word in the English language that means Word as Life and Life always in Word?
Story. – The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. – Word as Person, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ comes into us as payment, that is as life, as our life, as our only life. Thus we now have a new story to speak inside our God-created bubble. It matters not if our previous story was a sin story or a sinless story. Sinlessness without the knowledge of Christ as our life is vanity; though it is not misery.
Earlier in this letter I said this: The only way to cause self-punishment to cease is to stop our endless sin-story, the first part of redemption.
Then, in the first letter on Sacrifice, I said this: The sacrifices of the Old Testament increased the false story inside these deluded little bubbles of thankless, arrogant humans . . . – One sacrifice for sins forever. Sin-consciousness, sin-story, sin-thinking – ERASED. – That is NOT salvation. Salvation has not happened at all with a full erasure of all sin and sin-thinking. A different story must be told inside that little bubble of the walled-off human. That story must be Christ, every Word God speaks. We are saved by His life. –
The life we are given in payment by Redemption is the story of Christ as our only story. By that payment, Jesus purchased our sin story and our ignorance-of-God story, both at the same time. Those stories belong only to Him. What stories? The only story we possess is His story, Christ, the Word God speaks, the all-speaking of God, God in Substance in the form of a servant, now in our mouths.
It is the Christ-story we tell ourselves about ourselves inside our little bubble of existence, coming always out of Christ as Seed inside our Hearts, inside our protected bubble, by our permission, through our faith. It is that Christ-story alone that causes the sin story and the ignorance-of-God story to vanish away into the nothingness they already are there in that empty, empty tomb.
By speaking Christ as our only story, our only life, the second and third parts of Sacrifice come into our experience. By our speaking of Christ as our only story, God first wins our hearts, and then, by hearts that belong utterly to Him, given wholly to Him with all our might and all our heart, He changes our minds.
The final changing of our minds happens when we do that one action of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, the action that changes the universe.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
However, two brief lines of thought opened up with references appearing in this letter that I want to bring into our view before I explore Sacrifice as the winning of our hearts and the changing of our minds in the next letter, “Sacrifice: The Lamb Slain.”
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We were bought with a price, as Peter says, with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. Jesus bought us from ourselves. Jesus paid us His life to receive, in exchange, our life. Thus we see all that He is as our only self and all that we are, including our sin and rebellion, found only inside of Him. That which God would keep is found in Him, that which God does not know is found in an empty grave.
There is no place for self-righteousness in this exchange.
However, the first thing Jesus does with His purchase of us is set us free. Thus we live inside a very peculiar condition. On the one hand, we are NOT our own. We simply are not. All of our present life in all of its particulars is Jesus living as us, carrying us inside Himself all the way into life. On the other hand, we are continuously set free of Jesus. Our love must be won by Him; He would walk in union with us no other way.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1
When God says two things that seem to us to oppose one another, it's not so that we will join the church that promotes the side we prefer. God's reality is out from a totally different way of seeing all things than how we see them in our limited view. When we simply accept that both are fully true, only then will understanding come.
Then, look at this: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Here's how most read this line. “Do things with YOUR body and with YOUR spirit that glorify God; and do not do things that don't glorify God. When you do things that do not glorify God, you have taken from God what is His.” – But it doesn't say “with”; it says “in.”
Glorify the God who is IN your body and IN your spirit, for they are not yours at all, except by gift. Your body, your flesh is God's body, God's flesh, and your spirit is God's Spirit, one Sspirit with Him. Yet as God's purchase price to you, God's body and God's Spirit are also now your body and your spirit. Only our faith glorifies God, only when we believe that Christ IS all our righteousness.
Let me put four lines together to see how God unfolds Himself out from invisibility into view through us.
1. The Father (filling us with all of Himself, though invisible) of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us (spoken Christ into us) with every spiritual blessing (speaking of Christ) in the heavenly places in Christ. – 2. That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God (shut up about your pointless sin-story – give your sin to Jesus. Yes, your misery is entirely your fault, no one else's. Get over it.)
– 3. The Word (Christ) is in your mouth, this word of faith which we speak. – 4. Our faith is made effective (that is, brings forth God-life, God into view, God made visible, seen and known now to all) by the acknowledgement (speaking) of the good things of Christ(always being spoken into us).
Then we saw this line: The Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.
The redemption of the purchased possession is a most intriguing line. This is the moment when the clerk, the original owner (you and me) having in hand the entire purchase price (the Life of Jesus as our very and only life) puts into the hand of the buyer (Jesus) the entirety of what Jesus purchased with His life.
It is the action of the Day of Atonement, the one action that changes the universe.
By Sacrifice, Jesus pays us His life, all that He is, that He might purchase from us our life, all that we are, beginning with all of our sin and all of our sinfulness. We are redeemed; we are bought from ourselves.
Then, by Sacrifice, this same Jesus wins our hearts for Himself.
Then, by that same Sacrifice, Jesus changes our minds. At that point, He has taken full possession in hand of all that He purchased – the redemption of the purchased possession.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. – The faith of the Son of God.