If you're a bit of a Pharisee like me, then the idea of redemption may rub you the wrong way. It's unfair. I hate that, I'm embarrassed to say. I like justice. I like things to be even.
But we've got to be okay with how unfair redemption is. Honestly, we'll have fundamental issues with the workings of Christianity if we don't get comfortable with unfair.
If you think that you deserve salvation at all (again, like me) then to that degree you're not embracing the act of grace and mercy that salvation truly is. You didn't earn it and I didn't earn it. Not one percent. The sooner we let go, the better. We're the prodigal's older brother, you and I, and we don't realize that the love of the Father is free to everyone. We cheat ourselves by trying to work for it.
On the other hand, we have plenty of prodigals out there. Those who rebel and more obviously turn away from the father (Be careful though. One worked for the Father, and one ran, but both hearts were far). The heart of the Father mourns those that are lost, and when they return, there is celebration. Redemption takes place.
The kicker is that redemption always ends up being more beautiful. It doesn't get you back to status quo. It makes things more beautiful than they were. It's an improvement.
"Well then," you say, "should I go and sin and then be redeemed so that I can become more beautiful?" No, that certainly wouldn't be a biblical approach. But I'll let you in on a little secret:
Just like Jesus is beautiful in redeeming the world, so too can we be beautiful as we partake in the redemption of others.
It's true. Now, or course the cold hard truth is that we are all desperately in need of saving. We've all been forgiven much. We just need help seeing it. But we don't have to purposely sin to partake in redemption. We have plenty of sin already and there's plenty of mess around us that needs redeeming. Wherever you are, whoever you are, partaking in redemption is always beautiful.