I’ve had a tough time this week getting to grips with Ruth 2 for bible study on sunday evening. For some reason it just wouldn’t ‘click’! But had a breakthrough this afternoon, partly due to finding my notes from Forum on Ruth by John Piper, but also because I used the amazing ministry tool known as google to find out the definition of “kinsman-redeemer” (Ruth 2:20) as opposed to just a redeemer.
In the Old Testament, if someone was a kinsman-redeemer they were able to buy back land that had been sold due to poverty, marry a widow and name the first child for her decesed husband or avenge the murder of a relative. However to be a kinsman redeemer you had to fulfil the following criteria:
(1) a kinsman – close relative
(2) able to do it – not have any reason why he cannot
(3) willing to do so
(4) assume all obligations. (Leviticus 25:35-55).
Now, this is all well and good but it can seem like just an Old Testament thing until you realise that Jesus fulfils all of these things for us! And this is why Jesus is called our redeemer. He was able to die for our sin because he was God (John 1) because he was human (Mark 8:31 cf Daniel 7:13) he was willing (Luke 22:42) and he assumed all obligations – he died on the cross because the punishment for our sin was death.
Suddenly redeemer has a lot more meaning. In the law God’s not only outlined the way that those who are widowed, bereaved or poor and be rescued, but also how us years and years later can be resuced through Jesus. How amazing!