This morning I finished teaching the last chapter of the book of Ruth to my ladies Sunday school class. It was so rich. I loved teaching this book of the Bible. I learned so much in my studying. Today was my favorite of the chapters though because it talked so much about the "redeemer".
Before Boaz could redeem the land of Elimelech he first had to make sure the nearer kinsman did not want to redeem it for himself. When he told the nearer kinsman about it in Ruth 4: 3-4, the kinsman told Boaz that he would redeem it. But when in verse 5 Boaz tells him that when he buys the land he must also purchase a wife...Ruth the Moabitess, then the nearer kinsman changes his mind and says that he can not redeem it! Now Boaz is free to purchase both the land and Ruth for his wife.
I had heard so many times that Boaz is a picture of type of Jesus but I had never heard much about the nearer kinsman. I found that many scholars believe that this unnamed kinsman was a picture of the law. Before Jesus came to earth the Law was our nearer kinsman. Law accepted the responsibility of salvation. BUT....the law failed. There was nothing wrong with the law! Psalm 19: 7 says "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul". But there was something wrong with man. The Law had to admit that he could not redeem mankind because for the law to redeem meant that flesh had to keep the law. The flesh is too weak so there was no redemption possible.
So, now what happens? Along comes the kinsman who CAN redeem us! The word translated "kinsman" here in Ruth is the same word translated "redeemer" in Job 19: 25..."For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;". Jesus Christ kept all the law and was perfect. Because of this and because He was God in the flesh, He was able to redeem us and pay off all the debt of our sins. Where the Law could not redeem, Grace could! Praise the Lord!
Songwriter P.P. Bliss conveyed it beautifully in these words: "Free from the law, O happy condition, Jesus hath bled and there is remission. Cursed by the Law and bruised by the Fall. Christ hath redeemed us once for all."
I join with Job today to joyfully say that "I know that my redeemer liveth" !
I hope that you can say the same!