This is the second of a three-part series on Ruth chapter four. This post considers Ruth 4:5-12.
At first, the nearer relative is eager to buy back Naomi’s property. “I will redeem it!” he says. Immediately. He knows Elimelech is dead and Naomi’s two sons are dead and she’s too old to have more kids, so there are no descendants to Elimelech’s line. This guy can just buy back the land and it’ll become a part of his family’s inheritance. Whatever he has to pay to redeem it, he’ll make up in the value of the property and the produce it provides. Yeah, of course I’ll take it!
Then Boaz observes, “You realize this property comes with Ruth and the obligation to carry on Naomi’s line in connection with the property.” And the first guy says, “If the land comes with a wife, I’m out!” This guy didn’t want to take on the risk or the responsibility. He didn’t want to spend his own money to purchase a wife and a mother-in-law only to have the kids he has with the wife take the property back to the mother-in-law’s possession. “I cannot do it,” he says. It’s not that he can’t, it’s that he won’t. He wouldn’t make the sacrifice. It wasn’t worth it to him.
Boaz thought it was worth it. Boaz wanted to make the sacrifice for the sake of Naomi and her family. So he did. He redeemed for Naomi what she had lost.
It’s easy to see why the Bible calls Jesus our redeemer and why his death on the cross is described as redemption. Naomi and Ruth were too poor to redeem themselves. And so are you.
You and I need a redeemer more than we need anything else. You need a redeemer to buy back everything you’ve lost, everything you’ve given up, everything the devil and this world have stolen from you. You need a redeemer to restore your righteousness and your holiness, to give back to you your honor and your good name and your place in the community of God’s people. You need a redeemer to fix what’s broken in your life and to make right everything that’s gone wrong. And Jesus Christ is the only one who can do it!
If anyone is in Christ: New Creation! The old has gone! The new has come! God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus has become for us our righteousness, holiness, and redemption!
And like Boaz, Jesus had to be related to us to redeem us.
Jesus left his home in glory; he gave up his authority and power and rights, he came to this earth and made himself nothing, he became a servant, he took on our humanity, our flesh and blood; he took on all our weaknesses and pains and sufferings, he took on all the risk and responsibility, and he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. He did all of that to redeem every part of you because he thinks you’re worth it. The Bible says you were redeemed at a price. Jesus paid that price with his own precious blood to buy you back, to put his name on you, to bring you into the eternal family of God forever.