February 10, 2023

The Worthy Redeemer

By Skip Heitzig

If you know your Old Testament, you probably remember the concept of the kinsman redeemer. If you had to forfeit a piece of land, it could eventually be redeemed by someone who is related to you, who is willing to pay the price, and who is able to pay it. That's essentially the story of the book of Ruth. Some land is lost when the owner dies. The widow and her daughter-in-law move back to Bethlehem. The land is up for buyback redemption, and a man named Boaz—who is related, able, and willing—redeems it and gets a bride.

How does this relate to Jesus? Because the earth, though it is God's by creation, was lost to a usurper. Adam, in effect, turned over the title deed to the earth to Satan in the garden of Eden. That's why Paul said, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life" (Romans 5:12, 18). And this is why Jesus is worthy of our worship.

But let's go back to those three requirements: The redeemer must be related, willing, and able.

Was Jesus related to us? Of course. He was God, but Scripture says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). He became a human to be related to humanity, to be one of us.

Was He willing? Yes. Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep…. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself" (John 10:11, 18). He willingly gave His life.

And was He able to do it? Yes, because of what it cost to redeem us: His blood. That's why the anthem in heaven is this: "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9).

So it doesn't matter who you are or how bad your past sins are. Jesus paid it all. That's why He's called Savior. That's why He's called Redeemer. And that's why we worship Him: because that's the fitting response to Christ redeeming the world at the cross and getting it back from the control of Satan.

You know, I hear people say things like "Is worship all we're going to be doing in heaven? Sounds a little boring to me." And the best they can imagine for a departed loved one is "Oh, Fred's up there playing golf" or "Mabel's sitting there knitting with her cats around her."

Why do we reduce the glories of heaven to an earthbound activity and think it doesn't get any better than that? As I read in Revelation about the worship going on in heaven, I don't see that anyone is bored. And I think there will be nothing more fascinating than God when you are face to face with Him. The last thing you're going to be thinking is, Can I play golf now?

Jesus took the penalty of death, and He died in your place. The first and fitting response is worship: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. You took the debt and You paid it."

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