The Kinsman Redeemer
Aug 24, 2013 | 2071 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Kinsman Redeemer

Pastor Steve Ellison


Titus 2:13-14 tells us that Jesus redeems His children, “….our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”(NASU)  The fact that we have a Kinsman Redeemer is one of the great theological truths of Scripture. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Jeremiah all describe a system of justice in which a person who cannot pay his debts can be rescued by a willing and able relative. Thus a person who lost his inherited land or wound up enslaved to creditors could be rescued out of a hopeless situation in which he was completely helpless. If the closest male relative was not able or willing to rescue, the opportunity/responsibility passed to the next closest male relative. In addition to the legal description found elsewhere in the Old Testament, the book of Ruth presents it in story form. This beautiful love story, first and foremost paints a picture of Boaz, the kinsman redeemer of Naomi and Ruth, as a type of Christ.  Hosea serves as a marvelous example of a husband redeeming his wayward wife.  Perhaps the most striking characteristic of the Old Testament kinsman redeemer is the responsibility to avenge the killing of a relative.


Much of the New Testament is about Christ being our next of kin, who is both willing and able to redeem us. The New Testament expands on the idea of the Kinsman Redeemer. In all but three places in the New Testament where redemption is mentioned, Christ’s saving work is meant. Christ is presented as the substitutionary ransom by which we are redeemed. Specifically, we are ransomed/redeemed from slavery to sin.  The imagery of a helpless debtor slave in need of redemption developed in the Old Testament is very appropriate.  Before coming to Christ, we were enslaved to sin and under the control of the Satan.  God as Creator never relinquished ownership but we sold ourselves into bondage. We were enslaved to sin.  Titus 2:14 speaks directly to that dilemma. Christ redeemed us from every lawless deed.


The idea of redemption in the Scripture tells the story of the Cross.  We were slaves; Christ bought us “in the market place”.  Thus, we belong to Christ. We are His slaves.  Another Greek term that we translate as redeem means to “buy out of the slave market”. The saved are never to be put up for sale in any slave market again. They belong to the Lord Jesus forever. A third Greek term translated into English as redeem means “to set free by the payment of a ransom". The one who comes to Christ becomes a slave to Him.  They are set free from the power of sin.  They no longer bow to Satan’s temptations and schemes.  They are set free to be what God had always intended for them, experiencing sweet fellowship with their Maker, serving Him in all that they do.  The Kinsman Redeemer redeems us from the penalty owed because of sin.  The Kinsman Redeemer redeems us from the power of sin over us.  The Kinsman Redeemer will one day redeem us from the very presence of sin.  As a sequel to the Old Testament book of Ruth, the New Testament book of Revelation paints a picture of Christ as the ultimate, real Kinsman Redeemer who will claim the title deed to all of creation.  He will evict the usurpers from His property.  He will set us free by doing away with all sin.

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