Read Isaiah 51
Focus on verse 11
I have never been kidnapped, and I can only imagine how terrifying it must be to be held for ransom, understanding that if the ransom is not paid by a certain time that the kidnappers intend to kill their hostages. Then there is that moment of intense relief when the rendezvous takes place and the payment is transferred and the hostages are set free, in emotional shock but physically unharmed.
In today’s reading Isaiah records these words: “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (v. 11) It describes that moment when the hostage realizes that the ransom has been paid in order for their freedom to be purchased.
There is a sense in which we have all been kidnapped by the power of sin…perhaps in most cases, not so much kidnapped as sold ourselves over to sin by our own choice. Either way we find ourselves in a spiritual position where unless a ransom is paid, our life is forfeit. The good news is…that the ransom has been paid by Jesus Christ when He chose to lay down His own life in place of ours. All we have to do to obtain that gladness and joy that comes from knowing we have been ransomed is to repent of our choice to sell ourselves over to the power of sin, and choose to believe that Jesus payment is sufficient to redeem us. In Romans 10:9 Paul writes of this, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Notice the word is “you WILL be saved”, not “might” or “can” be saved, but “will be saved”.
The ransom, which saves us, has been paid, all we have to do is step out in faith to obtain the gladness and joy that sends sorrow and sighing down the road.