Our Kinsman Redeemer Lives!

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. (Ephesians 1:8)

As we mark the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, let us remember not just its historical truth, but its meaning for our lives today. Redemption is an act of God by which He Himself paid a ransom for the price of sin-our sin. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ make sense of and give meaning to our lives. It is only in the light of sin and alienation from God that we can make sense of the evil of the world and in each of us. It is only though Jesus Christ that we can find hope for ourselves and for the world.

In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have the workings of our Kinsman Redeemer. The kinsman redeemer (‘goel’ in Hebrew) is a role defined in the Law and fulfilled throughout the narrative of Old Testament history.   The kinsman redeemer had several roles. He could:

  • Redeem a relative out of slavery (whether the relative was a slave by birth, capture, or debt)
  • Redeem a relative’s property that had been sold in financial distress
  • Raise up a successor to a near relative (through the widow of the ‘brother’)

 To act as kinsman redeemer, a man had to meet five requirements.  He had to be:

  • a near relative
  • free himself ( a slave could not redeem a slave)
  • willing to pay the price of redemption
  • able to pay the price
  • able to produce the price of redemption (no credit)

 Jesus is our perfect redeemer.

You know that you were ransomed (redeemed) from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:18)

He performed three functions of the redeemer on our behalf.

First, he freed us from slavery. In our natural state, we are fallen, and enslaved to sin. By dying for us, he freed us from our slavery to our sinful nature. We are still sinners, yet we are no longer held captive by our sinful nature. Jesus redeemed us from our inherited condition of slavery- the slavery of sin.

  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.         (Romans 6:23)

Second, Jesus redeemed our property rights. What property rights? We were given a perfect home, the Garden of Eden. However, through sin, we were expelled. Jesus has redeemed our rights to be in His Kingdom once more—a right we could in no way earn for ourselves, but that He had to purchase for us.

Third, Jesus established His church, a successor to the chosen people, Israel. That remnant of believers includes both believing Jews and Gentiles. At His Second Coming, a remnant of each tribe of Israel will be gathered, redeemed, and folded into the church.

Jesus met all five requirements for Kinsman Redeemer.

  • He is our near kinsman.

 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18)

  • He was willing to pay the price.

 …even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28)

  • He was able to pay the price.

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

  • He was free Himself.

 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

  • He had the price of redemption. The price he willingly paid was his blood.

You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. (1 Corinthians 7:23)

 …knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:18-19)

 We need be mindful then of the mercy that God showed for us by rescuing those who believe from the chains of sin and the eternal punishment that is our due.  It was through our Kinsman Redeemer, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that we became free. By His resurrection we who believe are raised from the deadness of sin to newness of life, and the promise of eternal life.

On Resurrection Sunday, let us proclaim “Christ is Risen,” and rejoice that our Redeemer lives!

“For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at last he will stand upon the earth;
  and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    then from my flesh I shall see God. (Job 19:25)

Published in: on April 4, 2010 at 8:59 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thank-you, Will for this wonderful picture of Jesus.

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