In Isaiah 59:20, God declares ‘The Redeemer will come to Zion’. Many times in the Old Testament God refers to Himself as the Redeemer, but in this instance, He is talking of the One to come. We know this as this verse is quoted in Romans 11:26 and most definitely refers to Jesus. In his prophetic song of praise at the birth of his son, Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, declares that the moment has come for Israel to be redeemed and that their salvation is coming. This is in the person of Jesus (Luke 1:68-69)
So, what does ‘redeemer’ mean? I looked up the word ‘redeem’ in the dictionary and my favourite definition of the word is this – ‘to gain or regain possession of something with a payment’. It means to buy back something, but I particularly like the bit about regaining a possession. Because that is what God did through Christ. We were made for God, made to be the object of His love and to share in close intimate relationship with Him. Our sin and disobedience separated us from Him; in a sense we were lost to Him. He had to pay to get us back. And what a payment! 1 Peter 1:18-19 tells us that it wasn’t with silver and gold, that are precious but corrupt over time, but with His own precious blood that He redeemed us. Our redemption cost Jesus His life.
In the Hebrew the term redeemer implies something more than just buying back, it suggests the requirement that it be person of close relationship. Beautifully illustrated in the story of Ruth and Boaz, the kinsman redeemer had a responsibility to take under his care and protection one that was vulnerable through widowhood or abandonment. This wasn’t the act of a stranger, but someone closely related. Jesus chose to redeem us, not as a stranger, but as one who already loved us unconditionally. He took on the role of kinsman redeemer for us so that we can come under His care and protection. Not only are we bought back by Him, but we are brought into His family, to be loved and secure for all eternity.
How precious are we to Him that He was willing to pay so much for our redemption!
‘It cost Me this.’ This time it was a whisper and it sounded inside his head. All at once Hywel knew it was no human voice. He opened his eyes and looked up at the depiction of the crucified Christ above him, the hands spread wide, nail-pierced and bleeding. The twisted legs, the spear-wounded side, the thorn-crowned head bowed in agony. It was only a lifeless, silent carving and yet it spoke more than a thousand words could have in that moment. A life surrendered, a death embraced, a punishment borne. For him.
THE PILGRIM p 223
Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.
‘The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022
More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com