Katalin Dallos
Dániel Erdély

Bible Study: Meaning of Redemption

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The Meaning of Redemption

One meaning of the word ‘redeem’ (and the one that applies to the Biblical use of the word) is “to set free or release from evil by the payment of a price”. We hear today of terrorists who hold a people hostage, demanding that so much money be paid for the release. If that money is paid and the people are released, we could say in an earthly sense that those people have been redeemed. They have been released from some evil by the payment of a price.

We find an example of redemption in the Old Testament. When a woman became a widow in Israel, the closest relative of her husband had the right and responsibility to marry that woman, to raise up to her family and to preserve the land of her dead husband. In Ruth 4:3, it seems that the property of Elimelich was about to be sold. Boaz confronted the nearest relative to Ruth and asked if he wanted to redeem it. At first he agreed to do so, but then decided not to when he found out that this would involve marrying Ruth as well. Note that the word “redeem” is used in this passage (4:4) and that its usage fits our definition. The man was asked if he would deliver or rescue the land from some evil (going into somebody’s hands) for a price (money was involved). The nearest relative did not so but Boaz redeem it.

This is an earthly picture of what Christ has done for us. He has released us from eveil by paying a price. We shall find out from what evil and by what price we are redeemed.