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  • Writer's picturetimothy martiny

Adoption and the Cross

Adoption and the cross, lessons learned as a missionary in Guatemala.

That is the whole story of redemption, starting in the garden. The universe was meant to be our home; it was created as the place where the image bearers of God would rule and serve under their Father. It was all to be ours. Yet, through primeval insurrection in the garden, our inheritance was lost.

Heirs, we were no more; sin had taken root, turned away from home and into the captivity of a serpent who held the cosmos in thrall.

The whole universe had become an orphanage.

There we were, orphaned. Orphaned until Christ came to redeem us. Redeem us, yes, but what does that mean? And how does it apply to adoption and the cross?

As used by the Apostle Paul, to redeem means "to buy out,"" specifically in relation to purchasing a slave's freedom. That in scripture, we find it applied to Christ's death on the cross, is significant. Romans 3:24 speaks of the redemption that is found through Christ Jesus. Christ bought us, restored us, redeemed us, and gave us a path away from the life of an orphan, forever changed into one of an adopted son.

Just as a child cannot, of his own free will, be set free from the orphanage that holds him, neither can we, of our own free will, be set free of the sins that so easily beset us. Something must happen; some greater power must act to liberate us from our current state of orphanhood and grant us permission to become members of a family.

That brings us to the cross. We cannot consider the adoption scripture speaks of as children of God without turning to the cross. When Jesus is nailed to this Roman torture device, he bears the total weight of the curse of an orphaned creation. The apostle Paul can speak of us receiving adoption as sons only because Jesus took upon himself that curse, which was our separation from God. In removing it, we can now find redemption, the door is opened for us to be adopted as sons of God, and our inheritance is sealed by the Holy Spirit.  (Ephesians 1)

"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree" (Galatians 3:13).

When you genuinely understand adoption, you truly understand the cross; when you truly understand the cross, you truly understand adoption. Understanding the one leads to a better understanding of the other.

As we celebrate Christ's resurrection on this glorious day and our adoption into God's family, let us also remember those here on this earth who need both a spiritual and physical family and ask ourselves if we are not called to meet that need in some way.

As our Father has loved us, so let us love others.

Happy Easter from Tim, Sharie, Julia, Audrey, Vanessa, Jessica, Alex and Alison Martiny.

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