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As discussed in the previous blog, justice requires a redeemer to the sentenced humanity. Legally, angels are disqualified, having no physical body and subsequent death. As progeny of Adam already burdened with own death, nobody from the human race is qualified. Hence, no one can substitute for another, or for own self, despite willful act. Neither can any one force another to sacrifice for himself. Purchasing redemption is also a legal impossibility. For, as the author argues, with reference to the bible, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psalm 24.1)
When all redemption procedures fail, grace is a necessity. In fact, it is the only redemptive option. Atty. Catacutan discussed a two-stage process in redemption by grace. The first is the payment, or justice –compliance stage. The second is the relationship-claiming stage wherein any one who wants to avail of the redeeming grace must claim his relationship to the Savior.
|Image Credit: freebibleimages.org|
Paul, the apostle, has explicitly described the significance of Jesus sufferings in his letter to the Philippians: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
From the start, Jesus knows his role in the redemptive procedure. The Garden of Gethsemane, on the way to the cross, serves as venue of Jesus affirmation on his willingness to sacrifice as redeemer. There he wrestles with his humanity vis-a-vis the divine mandate. As recorded in the gospel, the scene in the garden portrays the last struggle. Jesus pours out his innermost thoughts and feelings to the Father. Reviewing the justice requirements and redemption scheme, he attempts to argue for other alternatives apart from the cup of suffering and death. In the end, he seals his commitment to undergo the last stage of redemption with this prayer: "Nevertheless, your will be done, not mine."
Thereafter, the culmination of his suffering takes place on the cross. The finale of the "womb- to- the- tomb" painful experiences of Jesus as the redeemer. Indeed, the old rugged cross serves as the "emblem of suffering and shame." The summit of the redemption process in the context of the totality of the life of Jesus that exemplifies the love of God for humanity.