What does it mean to be irredeemable? It means something that is incapable of being bought back or paid off, is irreparable or hopeless. It has lost any intrinsic worth and is beyond redemption. Throw it away, it is worthless.
People were originally made to be the image bearers of God. He modeled the human race, the crown jewel of his Creation, after Himself. After that disreputable incident in Eden, we lost only our unhindered fellowship with God, and the war to destroy the very image of God in man was on. Which bring me to a defaced, irredeemable quarter I found lost in a grimy gutter.
Feeling good, I went for a morning jog with no idea the profound Last Days lesson waiting for me. With all the exercise I am doing, itĚs nice to see my feet again. And I may collapse in perfect health. Anyway, I reached the top of a hill I was running breathing hard when I felt the sudden tug of that familiar, quiet voice of the Spirit.
Step back and look.
I was running on the grassy edge near the curb of a suburban side street. Gasping, I paused and back up a couple of feet and looked down. Nothing. Dirt, asphalt, and a few small scraps of paper. And then, out of the peripheral vision of my right eye, I saw a glint of light reflecting off of a dull metal surface.
Reaching down into the gutter, I picked up a very grimy, dirt covered grayish slug, the kind you punch out of a new electrical box. At least, that was my first impression. I tried to rub off the dirt as I resumed my jog. The slug was covered with scars as if it has been run over many times till it was finally knocked into the crevasse of the gutter and left there forgotten.
When I held it up to the Light, I looked at the slug sideways and only then noticed its ribbed edges. Viola! It was actually a coin, a quarter, and not a slug. At least at one time, it had value.
Still, my impression of this badly scarred coin was that it was probably useless, worthless; in short, irredeemable. You could not present it for payment as the image of Washington and most all identifying marks were all but erased. What can you do with a defaced coin that has lost even the image of the President that identifies what it is?
And then I understood the message.
Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. One of the strategies of hell is to stamp out the image of God in man. We were made to be his image bearers, to rule in his authority over his creation. We are fallen creatures incapable of saving ourselves. We need a Redeemer, one who pays our ransom and buys us back, restoring us to a relationship with God.
While we have all been damaged by sin (which always pays its wages in death), there are people who have been demonically decimated by the ravages of sin. You look at their shattered lives and canĚt find a shadowed trace of the image of God. Thank heaven that Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost; even the seemingly Irredeemable.
The word Lost has several shades of meaning including, having gone astray or missed the way. And there are people so utterly lost, so mangled by sin, you could look at them by natural sight and think they were beyond redemption.
God promises an End Time harvest of humanity and he save even the most unlikely of souls. He chooses the foolish thing to confound the wise and his saving hand will be redemptively reaching into the vilest gutters on earth seeking to save that which is utterly lost.
The quarter I picked out of the gutter looks irredeemable as will many of the people that God saves but redeem them he will! The irredeemable will be redeemed, bought back, paid for with a price and they will become fellow inheritors of the kingdom of God! He still gives beauty for ashes.
Irredeemable? The Spirit says look again!
Bryan Hupperts Ě 2012
St. Louis, MO