You and your mercy have led forth the people whom you have redeemed. Exodus 15:13. NKJV
Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God I Peter 3:18.
The verse from Exodus is part of a song attributed to Moses and the children of Israel, one that they sang after their delivery from Egypt. They praise God, they relate all the wonderful things that have happened to save them. There are two parts to verse 13:: God's mercy leading the people and His action in redeeming the people. In another translation of our verse from Exodus we read “In your unfailing love, you will lead the people who you have redeemed.”
So what does it mean to be redeemed? When we used to collect coupons we would exchange them for things we wanted. In that sense, redeem means to exchange, to exchange what we have for something we want. Another synonym is free; to be redeemed is to be freed. The dictionary says that to redeem is to compensate for the bad aspects of something. To be redeemed, then, must mean that God, in his mercy, compensates for our sins.
The children of Israel sing about this in celebration. . First they were redeemed and then they are being led by God to their new home. If we read the second translation. It says God will lead. Not just something in the past that's over and done with, but certainly something that continually goes on. How does this redemption happen? How can we be part of this? Peter tells us that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins once for all time for all people. He, who was righteous, did this for all people -- the unrighteous as well as the righteous. This one-time act allows us all to be redeemed. To have the bad aspects put away and to be right with God. This redemption brings us close to God, who continues to lead us as we go through our lives sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
Redeeming savior, thank you for your life, death, and resurrection that brings us to God. In your presence, God releases us from the dark captivity of envy, judgment, and resignation. Living Redeemer, your sacrifice was for all, whether we choose to recognize you or not. Keep us among those who humbly remember and live in response to such unbelievable love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.