Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil. 2:5-8)
No doubt, as the Deceitful One slithered his way through the garden on that fateful day, his leer turned from a hateful sneer to a conquering glare as he relished in the moment – the moment when Adam and Eve had made him their choice – the moment when they had turned their back on his old nemesis, the Eternal God – the moment when fellowship between the Creator and His beloved creation had been interrupted by deliberate sin. Even as the Beguiling Serpent heard God utter the anguished words, “What is this you have done?” he knew he had won! He had indeed defeated God!
There would be no more strolling in the garden in the cool of the day. It would no longer be an Eden, a place of delight, for God and man. The peaceful, loving harmony that had so blessed them was now only a painful memory, replaced by a chasm of division. Now, God could have nothing more to do with these sinful, rebellious creatures. As fear obviously now gripped the hearts of the trembling mates, Satan relished in the thought that God’s special creatures now belonged to him, the god of this world, and they would serve him in his earthly realm. As he watched the Loving Father grapple with the reality of all that was lost, the Devil was satisfied. Satan knew his plan had worked and he held the victor’s cup high. As the same pride that had caused him to be forever cast out of heaven rose in his chest, the Evil Charlatan basked in his triumph. BUT, THE ETERNAL GOD WAS NOT DEFEATED. He would never be defeated. He still reigned. He still existed as the Great I AM. He was still completely in control of all things.
Genesis records the chilling words of doom that God pronounced on the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life; and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
This was no triumph for Lucifer, that angel of Light, who now would dwell in the grotesque form of a snake. God already had the last word. Before the foundations of the world, God – the Omniscient One – had laid out the plan – the plan that would satisfy His own demands for payment for man’s sin – the plan that would restore forever the fellowship between Himself and His erring pilgrims – the plan that would bathe each repentant child in His own righteousness – the plan that would “bruise Satan’s head” and conquer Satan’s limited power once and for all – God’s plan for salvation and redemption of man.
As each drop of precious blood fell from the brow of Jesus as He hung upon that once-for-all cross altar, redemption drew near. The blood of the Lamb of God, slain before the foundations of the world, was paying the ransom for man that God required. The mantle of all of mans’ sin lay heavily upon the sacrificial object – God’s forsaken, yet Beloved Son. All was being completed “in the fullness of time” as ordained by God.
It was a time to reconcile – God with man – and man with God. It was a time to secure a New Covenant relationship between God and man that would never fail. It was a time to snatch mankind from the bondage to sin and the law. It was a time to settle all debts against mankind that God demanded. It was a time to plant hope, peace and joy in the hearts of all who believed. It was a time for grace to fully pour out its gifts of renewal, salvation, forgiveness, holiness, freedom, and emancipation. It was a time for offering adoption into God’s eternal family. It was a time of deep, necessary sorrow, yet magnificent victory, for the waiting Father, and for all who would follow the Lamb. It was truly "A Time to Redeem."
And it is still “A Time to Redeem.” The debt against you and me has indeed been fully paid by the death of our Lord Jesus on the cross, where He fully satisfied all that God demanded. All past, present and future sin was nailed to that cross, and all any of us have to do is claim the “Paid in Full” status that Jesus offers to all who call upon Him as their Savior. Then, daily, we experience the victory of this freedom in Christ and the power He gives through His Holy Spirit to live a “redeemed” life – fully consecrated to the service of Jesus.