When we say “real people,” we mean that our church is filled with Real Estate agents, UPS drivers, Physician Assistants, Fedex Managers, dads, moms, husbands, wives, students, singles, Hawkeye fans, Cyclone fans, hikers, trail-riders, and much more. Each of us comes from a different background, but when it comes to our relationship with Jesus, we have a similar story.
At some point in our life, each of us had to be “real” about who we were–that while we were sometimes successful in life, we were also sinners. This meant we had to be honest about ourselves. Not only are we dads and Web designers and home-buyers, but we are also lawbreakers, deceivers, blasphemers, haters, adulterers, sluggards, and idolaters. We are impatient, greedy, lustful, unkind, distracted, unrighteous, embittered, and above all, not worshipers of God like we should be. This knowledge hung heavy around our neck giving constant awareness of God’s condemnation.
The gospel teaches us a story–a true historical story–of how God sent his Son to be a Redeemer of real people. Jesus became a man and came into the world. He was a son, carpenter, brother, teacher, miracle-worker, friend, but most of all, he was the Christ, which means God sent him on the specific mission of redemption.
Jesus was betrayed, wrongly captured, beaten, whipped, misjudged, nailed to a cross, murdered, and most of all, he was innocent. Three days later he was risen and seen by individuals, groups, and crowds.
The gospel of the Redeemer tells us that his innocent death was accepted by God as the punishment for the sins of anyone who believes in Jesus. Believers are welcomed into God’s family because our record of sins have been cancelled, and we have been given Christ’s righteous record instead. The gospel tells us that this salvation is not available to the self-righteous or hypocrites, but only to real people who confess their sins and reach out to God for grace.
When real people meet the real Redeemer, lives are changed forever. We are still wives, Program Designers, armchair coaches, Maintenance staff, and definitely still sinners, but we are more too. Because of our Redeemer, we are forgiven, loved, justified, given purpose, freed from sin, and much more.
Have you met the real Redeemer yet?