“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-26)
God alone is the one who can rescue us from our guilt, bondage, and lost condition. He is the one who reconciles us to himself and restores the image of God in us again. This is the meaning of redemption.
At the Cross, some of God’s attributes which seem to be contradictory come together. He is righteous and holy, and therefore punishes sin. Jesus his Son suffers for sin, but he does so as our substitute, a sacrifice which satisfies God’s justice (a propitiation). God is loving in that he sent his Son for us. He is merciful in forgiving us through Christ’s work. Since Christ is also eternal God, his suffering and death have infinite value, and we are saved forever. His power is seen in the resurrection of Christ, which shows that sin and death have been defeated once and for all.
This is a salvation that we could not achieve for ourselves. Our condition is so serious that it is only God who can redeem us. It is God – in his power, wisdom, holiness, love – it is God who saves. As Jonah realized in his own helplessness, “Salvation comes from the LORD.” (Jonah 2:9 NIV) God alone is the Redeemer. And this is why he calls us to trust him with complete and childlike faith.