The word “redemption” in its simplest form means “to buy back, to purchase with a price out of the market place”. It refers to “the act of bringing back from slavery, captivity or death by the price of judgment.”
The Hebrew mind was saturated with the concept of redemption. In the Law of Moses, it pertained to the buying back of slaves and property, particularly by a kinsman.
There are several Hebrew and Greek words used which speak of the redemptive act, and the work of a person called the “redeemer”.
- Gah-al meaning “to redeem (according to Oriental law of kinship), to be the next of kin, and as such to buy back a relative’s property, marry his widow, etc.”
Translated “redeem, redeemed, kinsman redeemer, ransom, deliver, purchase, avenger of blood, revenger, redeemer”
Ex.6:6; 15:13; Ruth 3:13; Jer.31:11; Psa.119:154; Lev.25:33; Num.35:12,19-27; Isa.44:6,24; Job 19:25; Hos.13:14; Gen.48:16.
- Pad-dah meaning “to sever, i.e. to ransom, to release, preserve.”
Translated “redeem, redeemed, delivered, redeeming, rescued, ransom”
Lev.27:27; Duet.9:26; 21:8; Psa.78:42; Ex.13:13,15; 1Sam.14:45; Hos.13:14; Isa.35:10; 51:11.
- Lutreo meaning “to ransom, literally or figuratively.”
Luke 24:21; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18; Luke 1:68; 2:38; Heb.9:12 Translated “ransom” (Mat.20:28; Mark 10:45)
- Apolutrosis meaning “the act of ransom in full; riddance, or specially Christian salvation.”
Translated “deliverance, redemption”
Luke 21:28; Rom.3:24; 8:23; 1Cor.1:30; Eph.1:7, 14; Heb.9:15; 11:35
- Agorazo meaning “to go to the market, to purchase”
Translated “buy, redeem”
Mat.13:44,46; 1 Cor.6:20; 7:23; 2Pet.2:1; Rev.3:18; 5:9; 14:3-4
- Exagorazao meaning “to buy up, to rescue from loss, improve opportunity”
Translated “redeem” (Gal.3:13; 4:5; Eph.5:16; Col.4:5)
Redemption is deliverance from the power of an alien dominion and enjoyment of the resulting freedom. In its original sense and in its Biblical usage redemption is intimately associated with the ideas of ransom and substitution. It often involves the idea of restoration to one who possesses a more fundamental right or interest.
The heart of the Biblical message of redemption is the deliverance of the people of God from the bondage of sin by the perfect substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ and their consequent restoration to God and His heavenly kingdom.
A redeemer is one who possesses the right or who exercises the right of redemption. The Bible presents Christ as the redeemer of God’s elect.
THE ZONDERVAN PICTORIAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE BIBLE, Zondervan
Redemption illustrated in the Old Testament
The richest illustrations of redemption are found in the Old Testament, given to Israel in the laws of redemption. All were prophetic foreshadowings of the redemptive work of Christ.
- Israel as a nation was redeemed by the blood of the Passover lamb. It was the blood that made the division between those who were delivered and those who received God’s wrath and judgement. (Ex.8:22-23; ch.12)
- The Israelites were also redeemed with silver and gold at times and this was called “redemption money” (Ex.30:11-16; Num.3:44-51; 1 pet.1:18-20).
- The Israelites experienced the laws of redemption in operation in the function of the Kinsman Redeemer. This involved the redemption of a wife, a slave, or forfeited land inheritance (Lev.25; Jer.32:6-15; Ruth 4).
The Kinsman Redeemerhad to have three qualifications in order to fulfil this function.
- He must be a near kinsman, a relative.
- He must be willing to redeem to the lost inheritance, or to buy back the relative.
- He must be able to pay the full price of redemption.
All of these laws of redemption shadowed forth the Lord Jesus Christ as our Kinsman Redeemer, fulfilling the laws of redemption as set out by the Lord God.
- Christ became our near Kinsman Redeemer by the incarnation and virgin birth (Heb.10:5-8).
- Christ was willing to redeem the human race and the inheritance forfeited through sin (Heb.10:5-10; Psa.40:7-8).
- Christ was also able to pay the full redemptive price (Rev.5:9; 14:3-4; Gal.3:13; Titus 2:14; 1Pet.1:18-20; Mat 20:28; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Rom 3:24-25).
1 Cor 1:30; Eph 1:7; 4:30; Col 1:14; Heb 9:12,15; Rom 3:24; 8:23; Eph 1:14
Consider the following concerning our redemption in Christ:
Christ had redeemed us as sinners out of the slave market of Satan, even as the Romans also had a custom to buy slaves out of the market. The following points, which summarise this glorious truth, are presented here from Kevin Conner’s ‘Foundations of Christian Doctrine’
Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer
(Revelation 5:9-10; Romans 3:24)
- He redeems us from all iniquity (Titus 2:13-14; Psalm 130:8).
- He redeems us from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13; 4:5).
- He redeems us from the kingdom of darkness (Colossians 1:13-14).
- He redeems us from all evil, distress, adversity and bondage (Exodus 6:6; Deut 15:15; Genesis 48:16; Psalm 25:22; I Kings 1:29; II Sam 4:9).
- He will redeem us from death and hell. The final redemptive work will be the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:22-23; Philippians 3:20-21; I Corinthians 15:52; Ephesians 1:14; 4:~ Job 19:25-27; Hosea 13:14; Psalm 49:15).
- He will avenge our enemy and His enemy as the Revenger of Blood. Satan will come under His final judgments and thus the Kinsman Redeemer will avenge the blood of His saints (Psalm 106:10; 107:2; Jeremiah 15:21; Psalm 136:24; Revelation 6:9-11; 16:4-7; 18:20)
- The redemptive work of Christ covers the past, present and the future. For this reason the believer can sing the song of redemption, a song which the angels cannot sing (Revelation 5:9-10).
The Psalmist exhorts us by saying “Let the redeemed say so…“ (Psalm 107:2). Let us never cease to speak of this great redemption we now enjoy, and the great Redeemer who made it possible!