Redeemer. Its one of my all time favorite words.
I’m no literacy expert, I don’t even really have good grammar, but I love words! I especially love words from the Old Testament in the Bible because they are so rich with meaning. This is why a couple Sundays ago, when my pastor talked about an ancient Hebrew word I got really excited.
Doesn’t that excite you?!
I should explain.
My pastor was talking about a system of government described in the Old Testament which Israel lived by. He explained that capital punishment, in cases of murder, was carried out by the nearest kin of the person who was killed. That closest relative is called ga’al because he had to avenge the death of his relative by executing the person found guilty of the killing.
Ruth was rescued from a life without a future when her dead husband’s nearest relative, a man named Boaz, willingly took her as his wife. She was given a whole new life, even the honor of being in the geneology of the Savior of the world, when Boaz married her. Its really a wonderful story. This story has helped me over the years to see in more detail the reality of what Christ has done for me. He has mercifully given me a RICH future and hope.
In Ruth’s story Boaz layed down his life for Ruth in that he took on the responsibility of marriage- loving a wife, investing his life in hers. In that he showed redemption. He paid the price to save Ruth from a hopeless future. But in the case of the ga’al who makes certain a person guilty of killing his relative pays the price, how can he be called the kinsman redeemer? How is he redeeming anyone?
As I was listening to my pastor talk about the ga’al carrying out the punishment for a crime, Romans 8:34 came to mind and my insides leaped for joy! The answer is right there!
Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. – Romans 8:34 KJV
Christ is the only God-man. He is the only connection, the only mediator, the only kinship we have to the One who made us in His image. We are not God, be we were made in His image, to display His likeness, to give weight to His character. But we don’t! That’s why life is a mess! That’s why neighbors fight and dogs get parvo and 6 year olds hit each other and yell, “THAT’S MINE!” and babies die and parents neglect their children…. I could go on and on!
Christ is humanity’s ga’al. We stand before Him condemned, guilty in our sin. And we have a choice. Either we humble ourselves, like Ruth, acknowledging our dependence upon Him for our future, embracing the redemption that is ours since HE paid the price. Or we proudly go about our lives, denying our need for a Savior.