We began our 6-week series walking through the book of Ruth verse by verse this weekend. One of the central themes in the book is in how Ruth's redemption mirrors our own redemption.
My son asked me recently what it means to be a redeemer, and I charged headlong into a very eloquent and biblical explanation of what that word meant. The only problem? It didn't make a ton of sense. I could feel my own wandering in the explanation. He nodded graciously. I knew I could do better.
This prompted a search to find something clearer and less clunky. I found a solid definition that read:
"A redeemer is one charged with the duty of paying a ransom, restoring the rights of another, or avenging wrongs."
When applied to Christ we understand that He redeems us from all evil by the payment of a ransom, namely, himself. This definition is thought-provoking because it touches on the fact that we are both victims and culprits as it relates to our sin and brokenness. Christ pays in full the spiritual cost of both our own mistakes that wound others and avenges the ways we have been sinned against. In both our giving and receiving of hurts, Christ is mindfully aware. Rather than leverage that awareness to build an airtight case against us, (something not hard to do) he includes it in his exhaustive and expansive redemption. You and I have all the redemption we need now and tomorrow.
Christ redeems some now, and later in full, but He is the author of both. We are well-served and far less disappointed in ourselves and God when we remember this. The waters are rising and soon the whole earth will be flooded with only that which is redeemed, returning us to the garden we have always longed for. A place where the redeemed and the redeemer are face to face. In this sense, faith is no longer needed. A place where we are joyfully free to be everything God has made us to be and to relate in a redeemed way. This can not come soon enough.
Christ's redeeming work is ongoing. We are both sealed and works in progress. I am thankful to know a redeemer that is able and steady. I certainly need it today and tomorrow.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.