Jesus the redeemer
Reading: Leviticus 25: 23-28, Galatians 3:13, Colossians 1:13-14,
Additional reading: Isaiah 61:1-2, Luke 4:18-19, Leviticus 25:1-28, Mark 2:23-28, Leviticus 25: 3-5, 23-28, 47-55, Isaiah 59:20, Luke 1:68-79
Blanks: land, relative, go back, forgiveness, Christ
Have you seen this statue?
Do you know where this is?
Right, it is in Brazil.
Do you know what the name of this statue is?
They call it, Christ the Redeemer.
What does the word, “redeemer” mean?
Let’s learn about the word, because it explains the ministry of Jesus.
In order to learn this word, we need to learn about jubilee land law.
About 3200 years ago, God gave the people of Israel this jubilee land law.
God said like this: Leviticus 25:23
“The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers.”
God told the nation of Israel not to buy or sell the land permanently.
It is OK to buy and sell their lands temporarily.
But God is not allowing them to buy and sell their lands permanently.
What does that mean?
God ordained each Jewish family to have their lands, because their children and offspring also need to use this land.
So if they bought the land of their neighbors.
This new additional land should not be theirs forever.
They should return that land to its original owner at Jubilee.
Jubilee comes every 50th year.
On that Jubilee year, they returned this new land to their neighbors.
This is jubilee land law:
In Jubilee, all the lands go back to its original families.
So, everyone has a land.
Why do they need to practice this jubilee land laws?
In those days, if you have a land, you can make a living.
Otherwise, your life is very tough.
So having a land is like their human right.
God wants to provide that land they need to have in order to live.
That is what it means, when God said something like this: Leviticus 25: 23
“The earth is mine.
You cannot sell or buy them permanently.
Use the land like this according to my wish.
I am the creator.
I am the owner.”
Let us learn again this land law practice with these pictures.
Let’s say that there were two families: the family A and the family B.
Let’s say the family B became poor and had to sell their land.
So, the family A bought the land and used the land to produce more crops.
Now you know what happened in the year of Jubilee, the 50th year?
The family A returned the land to the family B.
The family B received the land back for free.
Then they and their children can start a new life.
Then they may take better care of their land because they learned a good lesson about keeping their lands.
This is called the redemption of the lands:
God said: Lev 25:24
“Throughout the land that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.”
Then there is “redeemer.”
Who is a redeemer?
There can be this kind of situation.
After selling the land, the family B needs to wait until the Year of Jubilee to receive the land back for free, right?
But the family B has a rich relative: C.
This relative C decides to buy back the land and gives back to the family B so that they can live a better life.
This rich relative is called, redeemer.
Do you remember the story of Ruth?
In that story, Boaz was the redeemer of Naomi, the mother-in-law of Ruth.
He bought the land from Naomi and married Ruth.
Then Ruth gave birth to carry the family name of her first Jewish family.
Anyway, Boaz is the redeemer.
This is how the book of Ruth explained about Jesus who redeems us.
Anyway, this is what God said: Lev 25:25-28
“If one of your fellow Israelites becomes poor and sells some of their property, their nearest relative is to come and redeem what they have sold.
If, however, there is no one to redeem it for them but later on they prosper and acquire sufficient means to redeem it themselves, they are to determine the value for the years since they sold it and refund the balance to the one to whom they sold it; they can then go back to their own property.
But if they do not acquire the means to repay, what was sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee.
It will be returned in the Jubilee, and they can then go back to their property.”
In this way they solved some problem of poverty in Israel.
But about 2800 years ago, when people ignore this kind of land laws, God spoke against them like this.
Isaiah said: Isaiah 5:8
“Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.”
So some people thought about how to apply this jubilee land laws to our modern days.
How to practice this jubilee land laws in our industrial society today?
How can a nation help each family to use lands equally?
Some say what if each nation increase the land value tax and decrease other taxes.
When the nation provides road and various infrastructure, the value of the land increase.
So each nation may get their taxes from land owners and decreases other taxes.
Then those who really need that land will buy, use and develop.
And those who don’t need that lands would not buy, because they pay taxes based on the value of the lands.
People would not buy and wait until its land price goes up.
Then the poor may be able to use lands that is available for them.
Anyway, God sees that having a land is an important human right.
People need the land where they can live or work.
So God says the land belongs to God.
And God wants people to use the lands equally as a gift from God.
Now let’s talk about spiritual meaning of the redeemer:
Originally people were created to live with God forever.
But they have sinned against God and lost their relationship with God.
So they lost their blessing as well.
Spiritually speaking, they lost their lands.
They lost what they had.
They lost their previous blessing and their true meaning of life.
So they could not live forever anymore on earth.
Instead they experienced death.
And because their relationship with God was broken, they knew less and less about God than before.
But then they have a relative, a rich relative: Jesus.
He is a rich relative, because Jesus is God, the Son of God who became a human to be their relative.
Jesus, the Son of God became the Son of Man to redeem people.
But how can he redeem people who have sinned against God?
First Jesus needed to obtain their forgiveness of sins.
He needed to pay the price to obtain their forgiveness.
But, he could not get it for free.
Then what was the price that he needed to pay to redeem people?
The Bible explained like this: Hebrews 9:22
“The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
In order to obtain the forgiveness of sins of all people, Moses also explained someone has to shed his blood.
To explain this, Moses described many types of animal sacrifices for their forgiveness of sins in Leviticus.
In this way, Moses was explaining about the Christ who would shed his blood to gain the forgiveness of sins of all people.
Moses said: Leviticus 17:11
“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar.
It is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
The blood was the price to obtain the forgiveness of sins for all people.
This is how Moses understood how Jesus would redeem people.
Moses also explained this blood has to be from the innocent.
A sinner’s blood could not pay the price.
This blood has to be from the innocent, the Holy Person.
So the price was the death of the Holy Person.
So, in order to pay the price, Jesus is to be pure and holy without sin.
Then Moses also explained like this: Deuteronomy 21:22-23
"If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight.
Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse.
You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance."
What is it saying?
Jesus is innocent but in order to redeem us and free us from our curse, Jesus received God's curse for us: Galatians 3:13
Jesus committed no sins, but received God’s curse so that everyone can be free.
In this way, Jesus can offer people the total forgiveness of sin.
Jesus can redeem their life, because Jesus pays the price for them.
Through his blood, through his holy death on the cross, Jesus obtained the forgiveness of sin.
Paul explained: Colossians 1:13-14
“God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
But Isaiah said that God said: Isaiah 59:20
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins.”
(Matthew 11:20 "Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.")
Even though Jesus took all the responsibilities of our sins, we also need to repent to receive God’s salvation.
When we repent, we come closer to God and have a living relationship with God.
And we are restored.
So Jesus says, rising from the death:
“I have redeemed you for my God.
You are forgiven.
So you can live the eternal life without the judgement.
So, now you can be God’s best friends forever.”
So Jesus is our redeemer because Jesus is the Son of God, and the Son of Man, who suffered and died for us.
Jesus can open the door of our hearts and the door of God’s heart so that we can have a living relationship with God.
Jesus the redeemer buys back our blessings and gives back to us.
We can understand like this, for our everyday life:
God wants to give us many blessings.
God gives us good opportunities so that we can be happy and blessed.
But we might reject God’s offer and have gone to a wrong path.
So we lost a heavenly opportunity.
We missed the good chances to serve God and experience God’s blessings.
We have sinned and we wasted our life and then barely survived.
We lost what God wanted to give us.
So we pray that Jesus the Redeemer may redeem our life so that we may have what he wants us to have.
We repent and pray to move into the place where he prepares for us.
Then we experience Jesus the Redeemer who provides and restores us.
This redemption is possible because Jesus lived the holy life and died on the cross to pay the price to obtain our forgiveness of sin.
Now we are forgiven, if we believe and repent.
Now we can live forever with God again.
This blessings and redemption is available for a person, a family, a church and a nation:
Let’s say there is a church that has done wrong things.
Let's say that they didn’t do the works of God.
So then we can pray that Jesus may redeem her.
Then Jesus redeems her and helps her to be the church of God again.
Like this Jesus can redeem our family and our nation and our world.
Jesus can redeem all people so that all people may have the everlasting peace, the everlasting forgiveness and the everlasting rest in Jesus the Christ.
We believe that Jesus is our redeemer; so God forgives us.
We believe that Jesus is the redeemer of our neighbors, so we forgive people and pray that Jesus may redeem them.
Then they also become God’s people.
So we call Jesus our redeemer.
Let’s pray that Jesus may continually redeem us and our world for God.
Jesus, thank for redeeming us.
May you redeem our life, our family, our church and our nation so that we may live according to your good plan.
May you redeem this world so that all may live and know you as their redeemer.
We pray this in your name.