Recently, I had to deal with a complaint in our workplace.
A customer was rightly upset and wrote a strong letter.
I looked up the points that were made and discussed the issues, and realized that, although unintentional, an error was made, involving processes that could be improved, and minor misses by staff. The problem was that the letter was written directly and personally to me, although I had not personally been involved in the events, it even included the words "I should be ashamed".
It was a bad day for me, eventually I calmed down enough to make contact and write a letter. In it, I accepted responsibility for what had happened and apologized. Although I had not personally made an error, my workplace had, and I am a main leader in that workplace. I begrudgingly took responsibility.
Today I reflected on this.
Can I really be held responsible for the situation, even though I did not personally have a hand in it?
Legally, I am culpable. Like it or not. This is the price you pay as a business owner.
Likewise, Jesus, by claiming to be our owner, is truly culpable for our actions.
We have an understanding that we have been "redeemed" by Jesus. To reclaim an item given at a "cash for items" loan center (pawn shop), a price must be paid. Once it is paid, the item is legally yours again, and it has been "redeemed". If the price is not paid within a certain period of time, the item is lost forever.
We have sold ourselves to Satan by sinning, and, unfortunately, we cannot afford the cost of being redeemed. Jesus paid the price, by his blood. Because he has bought us, he is now our owner, and is culpable for our actions. Again, he has paid the price for the penalty of our sin, by his blood.
Paying this price made us one with him, and with the Father. This is "at-one-ment", or atonement. We became his body, he is our head. He is the husband, we are the bride. He is the elder brother, we are the adopted children, He is the vine, we are the branches. He is the good Shepherd, we are the wandering sheep. He is the Saviour, we stand in awe.
Unlike me, Jesus was not reluctant to take responsibility. He loved us so much that he willingly laid down his life, knowing that this was the price he had to pay, to redeem us, and to make us his own, warts and all. And he did this before we showed any sign of wanting to belong to him. Willingly.
His incarnation, his perfect life amongst us, especially with respect to moral relationship with us and God, his sentencing to death, his dying, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of God, and his coming again, is all on our behalf, and performed willingly, with his whole heart.
And his commitment to us comes out of the Father's commitment to us. Jesus did only what the Father told him, and he shared his Father's desire to redeem us. God gave us His son. He sent him for this very purpose. The Holy Spirit, equally shares in this commitment toward us. For this reason the Eunuch in Acts chapter 8 wants immediately to be baptized by Philip as he suddenly understands who the suffering servant is, and what he has done for us. This is amazing grace.