The Scarlet Ribbon of Redemption


As Adam and Eve left the Great King’s royal garden in Eden, they carried with them not only the consequences of their rebellion but the promise that God would ransom them, and all Creation, from the clutches of sin and death. Like a scarlet ribbon ever unraveling from the Creator’s hand, Adam and Eve took the promise of redemption with them into the barren wilderness of exile.

In desperate hope, Adam and Eve held onto God’s promise through each new sorrow the sin-cursed earth laid at their feet. Eve bore sons, Cain and Able, only to lose them both- one to murder, and the other to exile. God mercifully gave her another son, Seth. It was into his hands that she placed the scarlet ribbon, now stained with blood and tears.

Seth passed it on to his son, Enosh, who in turn gifted it to his son. Down through the generations, the ribbon passed…

Abraham carried it with him into Canaan…

His great-great-grandson, Joseph, wound the ribbon through the sands of Egypt…

Moses trailed it through the Wilderness of Zin as he led God’s people to the Promised Land…

Naomi pressed it into the outstretched hand of her daughter-in-law Ruth as she went into the fields to glean wheat…

A shepherd boy, David, tied it to his staff as he knelt for Samuel to anoint him King of Israel…

The scarlet ribbon of redemption was carried by ordinary men and women throughout the corridors of history until, at last, it came to rest in a manger in Bethlehem. There, a young Jewish girl, a virgin, draped the ribbon across the palm of her newborn baby. The Son of God’s tiny fingers curled around it, clutching it tight as His mother named him “Jesus,” because he would save His people from their sins.

Jesus grew. He carried the ribbon with him as he played tag in the narrow streets of Nazareth, sat at His Rabbi’s feet, and trained as a carpenter’s apprentice.

He became a man. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and opened the eyes of the blind. He showed grace and mercy to outcasts and spoke hard truths to those in power.

Jesus carried the ribbon all the way to His cross. There he tied it around his hands and feet and wove it into the crown of thorns on his head as he surrendered himself to the humiliation and agony of Roman crucifixion.

Then, with a loud cry, He proclaimed, “It is finished!” Eden’s curse was broken. The ransom was paid in full, opening the door for God’s children to come home.

Just as the Creator promised.

“For no word from God will ever fail (Luke 1:47 niv).”


Sherri Gragg is the author of five books, including Advent: The Story of Christmas and Arms Open Wide: A Call to Linger in the Savior’s Presence.

Join Our Newsletter