When the Children of Israel were camped at Mt. Sinai in the wilderness, God gave them a set of rules to live by called the Law. Included in the Law was the provision that if a man had to sell his land because of unusual circumstances, this law gave a close relative the right to redeem it for him. If the man died and left no sons, the one who redeemed the land was to marry the widow and the first son born of this union became the heir to that property.
This “right of redemption” kept the title to the property in the family name.
Leviticus 25:25. "If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold."
Under the Law, God also ordained a Year of Jubilee. Every fifty years, in this Year of Jubilee, ownership of any land that had been sold during the previous fifty years reverted back to the original owner. If, before that time had elapsed, a man was able to repurchase his land he could take immediate possession of that land, but he had to pay the creditor the income until the year of jubilee. If he wasn’t able to do this, then “any of his kin,” who was willing and able to pay the redemption price and restore the lost possession to his relative could do so.
God gave us an account of one such transaction in the Old Testament, and He did it in the form of the beautiful love story of Ruth and Boaz in the little book of Ruth.
During the time of the judges there was a famine in Judea. Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, left their land near Bethlehem and went to the Gentile land of Moab. The Moabites were the descendants of Lot and one of his daughters and God had directed the Israelites not to inter-marry with them.
Elimelech died. The two sons married Moabite girls. Ten years later Mahlon and Chilion died childless so Naomi decided to return to Judea where the famine had ended.
Since they were both still young women, Naomi advised her daughhters-in-law to return to their mothers and find husbands. Both girls loved Naomi but Orpah reluctantly agreed to stay with her people and Ruth made a touching statement that Naomi’s people and her God were now Ruth’s people and her God.
Ruth 1:16-17. "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”
When they returned to Bethlehem, Naomi didn’t have the funds to redeem her former husband’s land, but she discovered she still had relatives living near there and one, an older man named Boaz, was quite wealthy.
It was barley harvest time and Ruth went to gather grain the threshers had left. It was the custom to leave some grain for the poor to harvest for food, and Ruth did this in order to provide food for her and Naomi. It was in Boaz’s fields and there she met Boaz.
Boaz wanted to redeem Naomi’s land and Ruth along with it so this is where we break in.
Ruth 3:18. “Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.”
Ruth 4:1-10. “Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
2: And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
3: And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
4: And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
5: Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
6: And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
7: Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
8: Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
9: And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
10: Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.”
Boaz is a picture of Christ as our Kinsman-Redeemer
and Ruth pictures us, the sinner.
I want to point out a few more pictures God gives us in this story. Ruth was a Gentile widow, Naomi, her mother in law, was a Jew. She was also a widow. As widows they were both helpless in the economy of that day. God used their story to show us His grace to all people. Ruth and Naomi both needed redemption, Jew and Gentile alike.
In Ruth 4:1, the un-named relative is a picture of the Law that couldn’t redeem us.
The ten witnesses of verse 2 picture the ten commandments that witness to our inability to keep the Law and redeem ourselves.
Verse 4. “None to redeem it, and I am after thee.” The Law came before Christ, but it couldn’t redeem us because of our human weakness. The Law serves only as a witness against us. The Law can’t redeem those it condemns because it relied on something we had to do in the flesh. We’re not able to keep the whole Law because the Law is holy and we’re sinners. Romans 8:3 says, “For what the Law could not do, In that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His Own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin In the flesh.”
Ruth, a Gentile, pictures the Church, the Bride of Christ, which is redeemed by God’s wonderful grace. The Law couldn’t pay the price and take the responsibility of the sinner’s redemption so it was assumed by Christ. The inheritance that was interrupted in the Garden of Eden would be restored.
The Law couldn’t become a kinsman-redeemer, it couldn’t pay the price because it required the sinner to doing something we couldn’t do. Christ, as the Kinsman Redeemer, paid the full price for me just as Boaz did for Ruth.
Boaz wouldn’t rest until he had settled this matter. Ruth 3:18. “Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.”
Christ wouldn’t rest until He had settled the sin question once and for all. He wouldn’t rest until redemption’s plan was full and complete. Hebrews 12:2. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The apostle Peter tells how Christ accomplished our redemption. 1 Peter 1:18-19. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
In the Biblical account, Ruth represents the Gentiles and Naomi the Jew so this includes all mankind. Everyone is either a Jew or a Gentile and everyone needs redemption.
With these thoughts in mind,
let’s direct our attention to the Lord Jesus Christ.
First of all, it was necessary for Christ to become a kinsman
to mankind to be able to redeem us.
Second, He had to be able to pay the price of our redemption.
Third, He had to be willing to redeem us.
We just read in Hebrews 12:2 that He counted it a joy to give His life to redeem us. If He had remained as God only, He couldn’t have given His life to redeem us.
There’s an immense separation between the divine nature and human nature. The Triune God is native to Heaven’s glory while the human nature is one of a fallen creature made out of dirt and living in the wickedness of sin. The Lord Jesus had to put on a human body and come into our sphere of things here on the earth. John 1:14 states that “the Word was made flesh.” Hebrews 2:14. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same.”
The names “Jesus, Immanuel, and Christ” are all linked to His life here on earth.
He came into this world just like you and I did, born of a woman and joined God and man together in One Person.
His body was formed of the same substance as His mother, but this didn’t make Him any less the eternal Son of God, or make Him less holy than He was before coming in the flesh. He was truly Immanuel, God with us in the flesh.
The Savior, the Son of God, made Himself a true Kinsman of the human race by this birth.
And, because he became our Kinsman, that gave Him the right to redeem all humanity, all creation, and the earth itself that has been in disarray ever since the Garden incident.
But, the fact that He became our Kinsman didn’t bring us redemption in itself. It took more than earthly family ties to redeem us. He had to pay a ransom.
We had lost our righteous standing with God in the Garden of Eden.
When Jesus came as a Man it gave mankind new hope of redemption. However, when He came He was confronted with the law which had its own righteous demands on us. The Law demands that the wages of sin be collected and Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.”
As glorious as the coming of the Son of God into our humanity was, it wasn’t sufficient of itself to provide redemption. God had set a price of redemption and it was the innocent blood of His Son, Jesus. Anything less could provide nothing.
There wasn’t any redemption in Bethlehem’s manger, only the hope of it.
There was nothing in His righteous life that would save us.
No matter how near God might come to man, man couldn’t be redeemed without God’s price of redemption being paid. Ezekiel 18:4 “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” God had set the price in eternity past and the price was death.
Man had sinned and the law decreed that our Kinsman Redeemer would have to “taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9. This would require the sacrifice to God of sinless blood on our behalf. Christ had no sins of His own so He would be the only one who could pay the price of our redemption.
How could we ever measure the price of redemption? The Lord Jesus had to die millions of deaths in that one death just to become our Savior.
There was no monetary ransom that could substitute. No earthly possession that would take care of the debt. His body given, His blood shed was the only price.
He had the right to redeem us, the power to redeem us, and met the requirement to redeem us. The perfect, sinless Son of God who became the Son of Man, paid the price for all us sinners in His death on the cross. He died “the just for the unjust,” bearing the sinner’s curse. His perfect life, even in all its divine omnipotence, couldn’t accomplish what His death alone could do.
Seldom does a man's death accomplish a great purpose. It’s during our lifetime that we acomplish anyhing worthwhile. Christ, in His death, acomplished far more than any man’s life ever could. And, at the end of human history, He’ll be credited with the salvation of all the redeemed in heaven. Revelation 5:9. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”
This is the Man with the bruised heel referred to in Genesis 3:15.
He’s the One that Abel’s sacrifice pointed to.
All of Israel’s ancient Levitical sacrifices pointed to Him.
The Holy Spirit gave Isaiah a tremendous understanding of the person and character of the Messiah. He predicted Christ’s birth as the Messiah of Israel and that He would someday establish His kingdom here on earth. In Isaiah 6:1, He saw “the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.” But in light of that vision, Isaiah said, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips” Isaiah 6: 5. That vision made him see his own true character and it humbled him when he saw the glory of Christ. Job had a similar experience. Job 42:6 “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
It was a tremendous act of self-denial when the Lord came to redeem sinners. He left heaven to became our Kinsman in order to pay redemption’s price. He stooped to a criminal’s death to perfect us and restore our lost inheritance and make us fit for heaven.
The book of Hebrews states the believer is made perfect in the eyes of God by that one offering. Hebrews 10:14. “For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
There were three main things in man’s original relationship to God in the Garden of Eden; (1) his right of access to God, (2) direct communion with God, and (3) cooperation with God in the accomplishment of His purposes.
Man sinned and this excluded man from any access to God, it effectively stopped any communion with Him, and prevented man from having any opportunity to cooperate with God in His holy purposes. It required the total redemption of man to restore these lost privileges.
From the beginning it was ordained that the Son of God would come to earth as the Son of Man and become a substitute sacrifice on man’s behalf to restore these privileges.
Until the fullness of that time came in, His sacrifice would be pictured in symbolic sacrifices of animals such as sheep, goats, and bulls in Jewish economy.
Throughout the thousands of years of man’s history, especially in the years of Israel’s history, hundreds of thousands of these animals were offered in sacrifice.
All these animals sacrificed belonged to a fallen creation and so none of them could constitute a perfect sacrifice. They weren’t the perfect sacrifice, they were only ceremonial, pointing ahead in time to a greater and final sacrifice.
These sacrifices didn’t deal with conscience. They didn’t remove guilt or cleanse sin from the conscience. They couldn’t even give the worshiper the blessing of peace with God. Hebrews 9:9. “But these could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience.”
The one making the offering was simply cleansed from ceremonial guilt and would avoid temporal judgment at the hands of God. But that didn’t prepare him for the time to come. It was a cleansing of the flesh only, but not of the heart.
These ceremonials were only figures of the true until the fullness of time had come and the real sacrifice had been made. All the ordinances of the Law weren’t able to give the sinner peace in his conscience or his heart.
Jesus, as Son of Man, became the perfect sacrifice on our behalf.
Hebrews 9:12. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
That’s the story of my Kinsman Redeemer.
He came and paid the price for my sins on the cross at Calvary
and now He’s sitting at the right hand of God
waiting to come to meet me in the air at the Rapture of the church.
I would assume that most or all of you are saved,
but I would still like to ask you
the most important question of your lives.
You don’t have to answer to me
but you do have to answer this question to God.
Is Jesus your Kinsman Redeemer?
If you confess to God that you’re a sinner
and accept Jesus as your Savior today He will be.
That’s all God asks.
That’s all God will accept.
If you reject this, or neglect this,
God has promised that you will spend eternity in the fires of hell with Satan and his followers.
Recently, a pastor from California spoke in the Baptist Church in Dumas, Texas. In his message he told a true story of a chemist who, in the course of his work, was working with a chemical that would ignite instantly when it contacted water. The man took a vial of this chemical home one night and during a party he was showing his friends how it would ignite when he put a drop of water on it in the kitchen sink. He accidentally spilled more in the sink than he intended to and it flashed into a big flame, setting fire to his clothes. He jumped back, and in the process he spilled the rest on the floor. In order to put out the flames on his clothes, he rolled on the floor. This caused contact with more of the granules and the moisture of his skin caused them to erupt in flame. He was in shock when he got to the emergency room and couldn’t tell the doctors what the chemical was so they tried to remove it with water, which caused more flame. They had to actually remove much of his skin to prevent further burning. The pastor likened this true life experience to the eternal fires of hell that await those who don’t accept Christ as their Savior.
Salvation is not a limited offer to a selected few, but there is a time limit. God has said that “today is the day of salvation.” He didn’t promise you tomorrow but He did promise that everyone is welcome to come to Him NOW for this salvation, but you must come of your own free will.
Please, accept His offer and spend eternity in heaven with Christ.