Jesus Christ Is Our Kinsman Redeemer By: Alan D. Campbell
One of the roles of Jesus Christ is that of redeemer. We
see the word “redeemer” often used in religious publications. What does the word
"redeemer" mean? It means one who delivers by means of a ransom
I Peter 1:17-20 describes how Jesus Christ redeemed us:
"17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
"18Forasmuch 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;
"19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
"20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you" (KJV)
To redeem someone requires something valuable as a ransom. Silver and gold and precious metals and are valuable. However, we were redeemed with something even more valuable—the precious blood of Christ. He was our Passover (I Corinthians 5:7). He was without blemish, which means that he was inherently flawless and he was also without spot, which means he had not become tainted by outside forces. He is our Passover who purchased us with his own blood.
Jesus is not just a redeemer; he is our kinsman redeemer. Jesus agreed from the foundation of the world to be our redeemer (Revelation 13:8). He came down from heaven as the bread of life (John 6:35). He took on the life of the flesh and was tempted in all points even as we are, and yet did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). He is our elder brother (Hebrews 2:11).
Leviticus 25:47-49 provides some background about what it means to be a kinsman redeemer:
"47And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family:
"48After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him:
49Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself." (KJV)
Just as someone in ancient Israel could be sold into slavery to pay a debt, we have been slaves to sin. Whoever practices sin is a slave to sin (John 8:34). We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), we have all come under the death penalty. We have a debt that we must pay with our lives. Thankfully, Christ is our kinsman redeemer who paid the debt of our sin.
Colossians 2:13-14 shows how Christ paid our debt for sin when he nailed the evidence of our sin to the cross.
"13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
"14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" (KJV)
The word “handwriting” means a note of hand or writing in which one acknowledges that money has either been deposited with him or lent to him by another, to be returned at the appointed time
While some people think of God’s law as bondage and that Christ nailed it to the cross, just the opposite is true. God reminded the Israelites before he gave them his 10 commandments that it was he who had delivered them from Egypt out of the house of bondage (Exodus 2:20). Likewise, he has delivered us from the bondage of sin.
The 10 commandments are never referred to in the Bible as the handwriting of ordinances. The 10 commandments are never said to be contrary to us or against us. Deuteronomy 5:29 tells us that God gave his commandments so that it might be well with us:
"O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" (KJV)
According to John Gill's Exposition of the Bible, the words “nailed to the cross” are thought to be an allusion to a custom in some countries, to cancel bonds, or antiquate edicts and decrees, by driving a nail through them, so that they could not be legible any more.
Jesus Christ is our kinsman redeemer who redeemed us from the death penalty for our sins. He did not nail the 10 commandments to the cross. What did Jesus Christ say that we must do to enter into eternal life? The answer is in Matthew 19:16-17:
"16And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."
If we want to enter into life, we must repent of breaking God's commandments, accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as our kinsman redeemer, be baptized, and keep God's commandments with the aid of God's Holy Spirit. We are human and we will still break God's law, which is sin (I John 3:4). However, if we confess our sins and repent, God will forgive us (I John 1:8-10).
About the Author
Alan D. Campbell lives in Brandon, Florida. His blog is The Good News of the Kingdom of God at http://goodnewsofthekingdomofgod.blogspot.com
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