[For] You know that in the past you were living in a ·worthless [meaningless; futile; vain; way, a way passed down from ·the people who lived before you [your ancestors]. But you were saved [ransomed; redeemed] from that useless life. You were ·bought [ransomed; redeemed; like a slave whose freedom was purchased by a payment - not a payment to the devil or to God, but simply what it cost Jesus to enact His rescue plan, what He was willing to do to get us free], not with something that ·ruins [perishes; spoils] like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like ·a pure and perfect lamb [a lamb without defect or blemish.   
1 Peter 1:18-9  Expanded Bible

I find it hard to wrap my mind around the meaning of the word “redemption” – when I think of the way the word is used in this world, I think of someone who has ruined others’ opinions of him by doing some wrong act, and how that person may try to ‘redeem’ himself in the others’ eyes by acting in a good way..almost as if he is trying to show he is not all bad, that there is still good in him. I think of the word redeem and how it is made up of a prefix and root – ‘re-deem’ – and I know that to deem something would be to value it, to judge it worth something, so to re-deem must be similar to showing something as valuable again. Perhaps this thing's value has been forgotten, and now it is revealed and seen again, thus it is re-deemed as valuable.  I don’t know if my thinking is correct, but it helps me to think that even though we did some very wrong acts when we lost sight of who we truly we (and whose we were!), that there was still inherent value in us, that we were not ‘all bad’ even in the midst of our worst actions, thoughts and words. Jesus redeemed me – maybe that partly means that He still saw value in me when I had lost sight of it, still saw the good nature deep within me (the image of God Himself, His own DNA in my framework!)..He saw me as someone worth rescuing from the lie-trap I had gotten into. He saw me as valuable, worth saving, worth having..He saw me as worth His own precious blood, He deemed me valuable and caused me to be re-deemed – re-valued in this life and world. So I can value myself again, I don’t have to be floundering in shame or guilt! There is something beautiful in me, always has been, always will be – it is the good inner core person that God made me to be from eternity past, the inner child, in union with God in essence, purpose, desire and nature! I am worth having around! I am actually good, a ‘good egg!’ I am even worth dying for, for that is what He was willing to do to ‘redeem’ me…

I am reminded of the verse in the Message Bible in Is 43:

“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
So don’t be afraid, I’m with you…”

He sees me as so valuable He would trade creation itself to get me back to enjoying the fellowship with Him that is my birthright as His child! The fact that He would give up His own life, shed His own precious blood (for that was what it cost Him), to free me from the trap of lies and bondage of sin gives me value and shows my worth to Him – thank You, Jesus! Redemption includes that very act, doesn’t it, that act of Jesus freeing us from bondage to lies, the enemy, sin, etc. He freed us from it all, hallelujah! Slowly I learn what redemption is, and how big and beautiful this word truly is for us!

The picture came to my mind of a little girl who was lured away from her family and taken captive by an evil man, enslaved by him and told over and over that she was an unwanted nothing with no home or family…so after a while she begins to believe and live out of this lie, an empty life of drudgery and hopelessness and shame. But then one day a regal man comes to the evil person’s residence..and the evil slave-owner shrivels in fear and hides from the man’s presence! He is truly royal and great in bearing, yet there is an amazing gentleness about him! He has been on a great journey, perilous and costly to himself, yet he will not stop till he succeeds in his quest..He looks around and suddenly a flash of recognition comes to his face! He points to the young girl in her tattered slave clothes, and with great authority in his voice, says, “This one is not an orphaned slave, she is my Father, the King’s, own child!” The girl looks up into the man’s gentle face and sees that she closely resembles him, with the same mannerisms and features, the same smile and tilt of the head, even! Could it really be true? Her heart leaps at the thought…The kind young man takes her in his arms and carries her safely home and runs up to the throne and puts her right on her royal Father’s lap – and the Father hugs her tightly to Himself as all her fears and anguish from all the lonely years just melts away…and they lived happily ever after! This is redemption to me! Someone comes into my enslaved existence and declares that I belong to and with Him, for He has a prior claim on my life that is before the slave-owner’s claim! He comes and claims me for His own, claims me as His valuable dear one who is related to Him and of the same source, the Father Himself – oh, how much value I am shown to have!! And He frees me from the grip of the slave-owner! And we live happily ever after with the Father!

I can imagine the voice of Jesus saying what I feel is the message of redemption to the trapped young girl, to me: “You’re not forgotten, you’re wanted. You’re not neglected, you’re cared for. You’re not forsaken, you’re embraced. You’re not lost, I’ve found you. You’re not hopeless, I’ve taken up your cause. You’re not alone, I’m with you. You’re not broken, you’re whole. You’re not sinful, you’re good. You’re not wretched, you’re lovable. You’re not vulnerable, you’re safe. You’re not spinning out of control, everything is all right now. You’re not estranged, you’re part of the family. You’re not a nobody, you’re my somebody! You’re not trash, you’re a treasure. You’re not ruined, you’re restored. You’re not bound, I’ve freed you! You’re not an enemy, you’re my friend. You’re not distant from me, I’ve got you in my arms. You’re not cast away, you belong with me! You’re not a misfit, you fit in with me. You’re not unnoticed, you’ve got my full attention. You’re not an orphan slave, you’re a royal daughter! You’re not unimportant, I’d give my life for you! You are delivered, you are safe, you are worthy, you are REDEEMED!

As the old song says, “Redeemed how I love to proclaim it, His child and forever I am!”