Resources on this page:
- Old Testament Shadows of Redemption and Kinsman Redeemer
- New Testament Fulfillment of Kinsman Redeemer in Christ
- Redemption by the Lamb of God
- Jesus Our Kinsman Redeemer and Blood Avenger
- The Scroll in Revelation 5 - Title Deed to the Earth
|Why Need a
|How does the Goel accomplish redemption?||Who is the Kinsman Redeemer?||When does the Kinsman Redeemer Act?||What Are the Results of Redemption?||What is the Response to the
|What New Relationship to the Redeemer?|
|Old Testament Shadows of Messiah
in Ruth and the Passover
Ruth = Asked
Contrast: Ru 1:19, 14,15, 16
Ruth Becomes Bride of Boaz
I will redeem ( goel) them Ex 6:6+ Blood of Lamb
Delivered from bondage
Redeemed from the house of slavery
Israel becomes Wife of Jehovah
Click for OT Redemption — by the Passover Lamb — fulfilled in the NT in Christ
The Price Paid...
Not Blood of Animals
Justified as a gift of grace thru redemption
Paid In Full
Ransom Paid to Whom?
Jesus fulfilled requirements of the Goel
He 2:14, 15+
1Pe 1:18, 19+
Set free from...
Released from our sins
Freed from curse of Law
Transferred from Kingdom of Darkness (Satan) to Light (Jesus)
Change of Masters:
"I" Crucified to the world
Adopted as Sons
Proclaim His death until He comes
Walk in Light
Lay aside deeds of darkness
Put on Jesus
Do Not Love
Look forward to our future redemption
God's redemptive love on the Cross should constrain us
The goal of this chart is to show how the OT shadow of the Goel or Kinsman-Redeemer is perfectly fulfilled in the substance of Christ (Col 2:17+, cp "the very form of things" in Heb 10:1+) and to summarize the results of His redemption which has wrought for us "so great a salvation" (Heb 2:3+), God's truth which should motivate us to walk worthy of the calling to which we have been called in Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer (Eph 4:1, 2, 3+, Col 1:9+, Col 1:10+, 1Th 2:10, 11, 12+, cp the "ultimate worthy walk" in Rev 3:4+) .
The Problem - Because of Adam's sin ("the man" = Ge 2:16, 17, 3:6, Ro 5:12+, Ps 51:5, Job 14:4, 1Ki 8:46, Ec 7:20, Ps 130:3+, Ps 143:2+, Pr 20:9), everyone ever born was born into a state of servitude or slavery to Sin (Jn 8:34, Pr 5:22+, Ro 6:6+, Ro 6:12+, Ro 6:16+, Ro 6:19, 20+), Statutes (Ro 3:19+, Gal 4:4, 5, 3:13, Gal 5:18+), Satan (cp diabolos) (Ep 2:2NLT+, Ep 6:12+, Lk 4:6, Jn 8:44 = speaking to unbelieving Jews but applicable to all unbelievers, Jn 12:31, 1Jn 5:19, Acts 26:18, Re 12:9+) and Stablishment (The World System [see kosmos] - Gal 1:4, 1Jn 2:15+, 1Jn 2:16+, 1Jn 2:17+, Jas 4:4+), and as slaves to these harsh task masters, men and women needed a radical redemption that would pay the price to set the slaves free. Every religion other than Christianity (which is more of a relationship than a religion) seeks in one way or another to do "good works" in order to pay off the the debt (to merit or earn freedom) that resulted in enslavement. But all human efforts fall short for "No man can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him--for the redemption of his soul is costly, And he should cease trying forever" (Ps 49:7,8+, Isa 64:6)
The Price - As summarized in this column above, the price of redemption is blood and only the blood of a perfect sacrifice was acceptable to effect redemption.
The Person - Christ came to earth in order that He might be our Goel or Kinsman Redeemer, the OT type He fulfilled perfectly by (1) becoming our "Kinsman", (2) possessing the means or price of redemption and (3) manifesting a willingness to redeem.
The Results - The results of Christ's radical redemption liberate sinful men from each of the harsh task masters - Sin, Statutes (Death), Satan, and Stablishment (the World System).
Of special note is the association of Christ's redemption with forgiveness of sins (Mt 26:28, Eph 1:7+, Col 1:14+), which has radical implications on our responsibility and ability to forgive others. See the following resources for discussion of the liberating truth regarding forgiveness...
- List of links related to forgiveness/unforgiveness
- Multiple illustrations and quotes related to forgiveness/unforgiveness
- Exposition of "Forgiveness" in Ephesians 4:32
- Exposition of "Forgiveness" in Colossians 3:13
- Exposition of "Forgiveness" in Matthew 6:12 and Matthew 6:14-15
Jesus said "this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins."
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
See the related resources on Covenant listed below - you may have studied, taught or preached on the Biblical covenants, but the notes below will take you through God's major covenants from a perspective you may not have considered and one which is as liberating as it is challenging.
- Jehovah - Covenant Keeping God
- Covenant: Solemn and Binding
- Covenant: A Walk Into Death
- Covenant: The Oneness of Covenant
- Covenant: Oneness Notes
- Covenant: Withholding Nothing from God
- Covenant: Abrahamic versus Mosaic
- Covenant: New Covenant in the Old Testament
- Covenant: Why the New is Better
- Covenant: Abrahamic vs Old vs New
The Response - This column deals with our new responsibility (and power) to live as those who have been liberated by Christ's full payment of the redemption price.
Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It!
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
His child and forever I am.
Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.
I think of my blessèd Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long:
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.
I know I shall see in His beauty
The King in whose law I delight;
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps,
And giveth me songs in the night.
I know there’s a crown that is waiting,
In yonder bright mansion for me,
And soon, with the spirits made perfect,
At home with the Lord I shall be.
The Relationship - This column summarizes the passages that relate to every believer's new relationship as the Bride of their Kinsman Redeemer, our Bridegroom, much as Ruth became the bride of Boaz, the OT type of the Goel or Kinsman Redeemer. Every believer's new identity as Christ's bride, calls for a commitment to live in purity until that day when He returns to "sweep us off our feet" (cp 1Th 4:13, 14, 15, 16, 17).
The Question in
The Answer in
The Cry throughout eternity is...
The ram in
Christ our Passover
Ge 22:1, 2, 7, 8, 13, 14
Ex 12:5-7, 13, 14+
Jn 1:29, 36+
Jn 20:20, 27
CLICK and take a few moments out of your busy schedule
(1) REDEEM THE LAND
Lev 25:23-27 (Nearest Kinsman = Goel = Kinsman Redeemer)
‘The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me. 24‘Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption (geullah; Lxx = lutron/lytron) of the land. 25 ‘If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman (goel/ga'al) is to come and buy back (goel/ga'al; Lxx = lutroo) what his relative has sold. 26 ‘Or in case a man has no kinsman, but so recovers his means as to find sufficient for its redemption, 27 then he shall calculate the years since its sale and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so return to his property.
(2) REDEEM THE ENSLAVED
‘Now if the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family, 48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49 or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or if he prospers, he may redeem himself.
(3) REVENGE MURDER = BLOOD AVENGER
Nu 35:19+ ‘The blood avenger (goel/ga'al) himself shall put the murderer to death; he shall put him to death when he meets him.
- Leviticus 16:22 The Scapegoat by Alexander Maclaren
- Leviticus 16:22 The Kinsman Redeemer by Alexander Maclaren
- Leviticus 26:13 Emancipated Slaves by Alexander Maclaren
- Word study of Hebrew word Goel = "Kinsman Redeemer"
- Ruth: Kinsman Redeemer, Pt 1 - Kay Arthur
- Ruth: Kinsman Redeemer, Pt 2 - Kay Arthur
- Redemption Free At Last! - sermon by Dr. Ray Pritchard - March 1995
(1) A near relative or kinsman
(2) One who had the means to bring about the redemption
(3) One who had the desire to accomplish redemption
(1) A near relative or kinsman
A kinsman - Related to Naomi's husband Elimelech - Ru 2:1, 20, 3:9,
(2) One who had the means to bring about the redemption
A wealthy man - Ru 2:1, Ru 2:4 (servants)
(3) One who had the desire to accomplish redemption
A willing man - Ru 3:11, 13, 18
(1) A near relative or kinsman
Christ took on human flesh to fulfill this requirement to be our Goel. His incarnation fulfilled this requirement. - Heb 2:14, 15, 17, cp Php 2:6, 7, 8, Jn 1:1, 14
Note that Jesus calls Himself the Son of Man in Mk 10:45 and associates this name with His role as our Redeemer.
(2) One who had the means to bring about the redemption
His perfect, precious blood - 1Pe 1:18, 19
(3) One who had the desire to accomplish redemption
Jesus laid down His life on His own initiative John 10:18
Jesus said "Not My will but Thine be done" Lk 22:42
There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood — (Beautiful choral version)
by William Cowper
There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.
Leviticus 25:10-15, 28-33, 40, 50-54+ 10‘You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11‘You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 12‘For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. 13‘On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property. 14‘If you make a sale, moreover, to your friend or buy from your friend’s hand, you shall not wrong one another. 15‘Corresponding to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your friend; he is to sell to you according to the number of years of crops.
Leviticus 25:28-33+ ‘But if he has not found sufficient means to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of its purchaser until the year of jubilee; but at the jubilee it shall revert, that he may return to his property. 29‘Likewise, if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then his redemption right remains valid until a full year from its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year. 30‘But if it is not bought back for him within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city passes permanently to its purchaser throughout his generations; it does not revert in the jubilee. 31‘The houses of the villages, however, which have no surrounding wall shall be considered as open fields; they have redemption rights and revert in the jubilee. 32‘As for cities of the Levites, the Levites have a permanent right of redemption for the houses of the cities which are their possession. 33‘What, therefore, belongs to the Levites may be redeemed and a house sale in the city of this possession reverts in the jubilee, for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the sons of Israel.
Leviticus 25:40+ ‘He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee.
Leviticus 25:50-54 ‘He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him. 51 ‘If there are still many years, he shall refund part of his purchase price in proportion to them for his own redemption; 52 and if few years remain until the year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he is to refund the amount for his redemption. 53 ‘Like a man hired year by year he shall be with him; he shall not rule over him with severity in your sight. 54 ‘Even if he is not redeemed by these means, he shall still go out in the year of jubilee, he and his sons with him
Leviticus 27:17-24+ ‘If he consecrates his field as of the year of jubilee, according to your valuation it shall stand. 18 ‘If he consecrates his field after the jubilee, however, then the priest shall calculate the price for him proportionate to the years that are left until the year of jubilee; and it shall be deducted from your valuation. 19‘ If the one who consecrates it should ever wish to redeem the field, then he shall add one-fifth of your valuation price to it, so that it may pass to him. 20 ‘Yet if he will not redeem the field, but has sold the field to another man, it may no longer be redeemed; 21 and when it reverts in the jubilee, the field shall be holy to the LORD, like a field set apart; it shall be for the priest as his property. 22 ‘Or if he consecrates to the LORD a field which he has bought, which is not a part of the field of his own property, 23 then the priest shall calculate for him the amount of your valuation up to the year of jubilee; and he shall on that day give your valuation as holy to the LORD. 24 ‘In the year of jubilee the field shall return to the one from whom he bought it, to whom the possession of the land belongs.
The Lord provided for a time for the slaves to be set free
For the debts to all be canceled so His chosen ones could see
His deep desire was for forgiveness, He longed to see their liberty
And His yearning was embodied in the Year of Jubilee
Jesus is our Jubilee
Slaves set free
Jesus is our Jubilee
At the Lord's appointed time His deep desire became a man
The heart of all true jubilation and with joy we understand
In his voice we hear a trumpet sound that tells us we are free
He is the incarnation Of the year of Jubilee
To be so completely guilty, given over to despair
To look into your judges face, and see a Savior there
Jesus' first sermon in Nazareth was in a spiritual sense His announcement of the Year of Jubilee, the favorable year of the Lord.
Luke 4:18-20 (commentary) “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, 19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” (ED: COMPARE "THE YEAR OF JUBILEE" 20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
JUBILEE YEAR - (shenath ha-yobhel; etos tes apheseos; annus jubilaeus, "year of jubilee" (Lev 25:13), or simply ha-yobhel, "the jubilee" (Lev 25:28; compare Nu 36:4), the King James Version and the English Revised Version Jubile): The Hebrew word yobhel stands for qeren ha-yobhel, meaning the horn of a ram. Now, such a horn can be made into a trumpet, and thus the word yobhel came to be used as a synonym of trumpet. According to Lev 25:9 a loud trumpet should proclaim liberty throughout the country on the 10th day of the 7th month (the Day of Atonement), after the lapse of 7 sabbaths of years = 49 years. In this manner, every 50th year was to be announced as a jubilee year. All real property should automatically revert to its original owner (Lev 25:10; compare 25:13), and those who, compelled by poverty, had sold themselves as slaves to their brothers, should regain their liberty (Lev 25:10; compare 25:39).
In addition to this, the Jubilee Year was to be observed after the manner of the sabbatic year, i.e. there should be neither sowing nor reaping nor pruning of vines, and everybody was expected to live on what the fields and the vineyards produced "of themselves," and no attempt should be made at storing up the products of the land (Lev 25:11 f). Thus there are three distinct factors constituting the essential features of the Jubilee Year: personal liberty, restitution of property, and what we might call the simple life.
1. Personal Liberty:
The 50th year was to be a time in which liberty should be proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the country. We should, indeed, diminish the import of this institution if we should apply it only to those who were to be freed from the bonds of physical servitude. Undoubtedly, they must have been the foremost in realizing its beneficial effects. But the law was intended to benefit all, the masters as well as the servants. They should never lose sight of their being brothers and citizens of theocratic kingdom. They owed their life to God and were subject to His sovereign will. Only through loyalty to Him were they free and could ever hope to be free and independent of all other masters.
2. Restitution of Property:
The institution of the Jubilee Year should become the means of fixing the price of real property (Lev 25:15 f; compare 25:25-28); moreover, it should exclude the possibility of selling any piece of land permanently (Lev 25:23), the next verse furnishing the motive: "The land is mine: for ye are strangers and sojourners with me." The same rule was to be applied to dwelling-houses outside of the walled cities (Lev 25:31), and also to the houses owned by Levites, although they were built within walled cities (Lev 25:32).
In the same manner the price of Hebrew slaves was to vary according to the proximity of the Jubilee Year (Lev 25:47-54). This passage deals with the enslaving of a Hebrew by a foreigner living among the Jews; it goes without saying that the same rule would hold good in the case of a Hebrew selling himself to one of his own people.
In Lev 27:17-25 we find a similar arrangement respecting such lands that were "sanctified unto Yahweh." In all these cases the original owner was at liberty to redeem his property at any time, or have it redeemed by some of his nearest relatives (25:25-27,29,48 ff; 27:19).
The crowning feature, though, was the full restitution of all real property in the Jubilee Year. The primary object of this regulation was, of course, the reversion of all hereditary property to the family which originally possessed it, and the reestablishment of the original arrangement regarding the division of the land. But that was not all; for this legal disposition and regulation of external matters was closely connected with the high calling of the Jewish people. It was a part of the Divine plan looking forward to the salvation of mankind. "The deepest meaning of it (the Jubilee Year) is to be found in the apokatastasis tes basileias tou theou, i.e. in the restoring of all that which in the course of time was perverted by man's sin, in the removing of all slavery of sin, in the establishing of the true liberty of the children of God, and in the delivering of the creation from the bondage of corruption to which it was subjected on account of man's depravity" (Rom 8:19 ff) (compare Keil, Manual of Biblical Archaeology). In the Year of Jubilee a great future era of Yahweh's favor is foreshadowed, that period which, according to Isa 61:1-3, shall be ushered in to all those that labor and are heavy laden, by Him who was anointed by the spirit of the Lord Yahweh.
3. The Simple Life:
The Jubilee Year, being the crowning point of all sabbatical institutions, gave the finishing touch as it were to the whole cycle of sabbatic days, months and years. It is, therefore, quite appropriate that it should be a year of rest for the land like the preceding sabbatic year (Lev 25:11 f). It follows, of course, that in this instance there were two years, one after the other, in which there should be no sowing or systematic ingathering. This seems to be clear from Lev 25:18-22: "And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the fruits, the old store; until the ninth year, until its fruits come in, ye shall eat the old store." Thus in the 7th and 8th years the people were to live on what the fields had produced in the 6th year and whatever grew spontaneously. This shows the reason why we may say that one of the factors constituting the Jubilee Year was the "simple life." They could not help but live simply for two consecutive years. Nobody can deny that this afforded ample opportunity to develop the habit of living within very limited means. And again we see that this external part of the matter did not fully come up to the intention of the Lawgiver. It was not the simple life as such that He had in view, but rather the laying down of its moral and religious foundations. In this connection we must again refer to Lev 25:18-22, "What shall we eat the seventh year?" The answer is very simple and yet of surpassing grandeur: "Then I will command my blessing upon you," etc. Nothing was expected of the people but faith in Yahweh and confidence in His power, which was not to be shaken by any doubtful reflection. And right here we have found the root of the simple life: no life without the true God, and no simplicity of life without true faith in Him. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Mt 4:4; compare Dt 8:3).
We may well ask: Did the Jewish people ever observe the Jubilee Year? There is no reason why they should not have observed it in pre-exilic times (compare Lotz in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, X, under the word "Sabbatical Year" and "Year of Jubilee"). Perhaps they signally failed in it, and if so, we should not be surprised at all. Not that the institution in itself was cumbered with any obstacles that could not have been overcome; but what is more common than unbelief and unwillingness to trust absolutely in Yahweh? Or, was it observed in post-exilic times? Here, too, we are in the dark. There is, indeed, a tradition according to which the Jubilee Year has never been observed--neither in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah nor at any later period. The truth of this seems to be corroborated by the silence of Josephus, who, while referring quite frequently to the sabbatic year, never once mentions the Year of Jubilee. William Baur
- Easton's Dictionary - Jubilee
- Smith's Dictionary - Jubilee
- What is the Year of Jubilee? | GotQuestions.org
- Wikipedia - Jubilee
- See commentary on Year of Jubilee in Leviticus 25:8ff
Agorazo - to buy in the slave market (1Cor. 6:20, 7:23, 2Pe 2:1) = Christ bought us in this slave market of sin by His own blood; believers are His bondslaves
Exagorazo - to purchase, especially to buy out of the slave market with a view to his freedom (Gal. 3:13, 4:5 - referring especially to Jewish believers who are delivered from the Law and its curse). Exagorazo conveys the sense that the slave who is thus redeemed is never to be put up for sale in any slave market, that the one thus purchased might never return there again! (Dear believer, you might want to read that statement again...and then shout "Hallelujah! Thank You LORD!"). Idea of buying up an opportunity (Ep 5:16, Col 4:5)
Boice adds: This is a particularly blessed thought for Christians because it has to do with the effective and permanent nature of redemption. When we are speaking in spiritual terms the redemption we have in mind is from sin, and the promise of this word is that we might never be sold under the power of sin again. In secular terms, we can imagine a case where a well-meaning, merciful person might purchase a slave to work in his or her household but then tire of the slave’s performance or abilities and thus sell him again. In ancient times that must have happened repeatedly, so that a slave’s position was never really secure. Not so with Christ! Jesus purchased us so that we might be taken out of the marketplace and never have to return. “Once saved, always saved” is the way some put it. Having been purchased at the infinite cost of the blood of God’s own Son, there is no one who can possibly top the price and thus purchase us away from him. (Boice, J. M. Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary) (Bolding added)
Lutroo - to set free by paying a price (Titus 2:14, 1Pe 1:18) = the believer is set free from sin and free to live a life pleasing to God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Boice adds: "this word group (luo, lutroo, lutron, lutrosis, apolutroo, apolutrosis) means “to loose, set free or deliver”—by the payment of a price. Here too is a beautiful and encouraging thought for Christians. For it is not merely that we are bought out of the marketplace of sin, never to be returned there. A person could be bought on the slave block, never be sold on the block again but nevertheless continue for the remainder of his life as a slave. This is not what Jesus Christ does for us. He buys us from sin to set us free. This is what enabled Charles Wesley to write:
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth and followed thee.
So long as we know that the death of the Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished that for us, we will continue to love him and serve him as our “dear Redeemer.” (Boice, J. M. Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary) (Bolding added)
Redemption (629) apolutrosis (How to do Greek Word Study using tools on the Web - apolutrosis = the example)
Blow Ye the Trumpet, Blow!
Ye slaves of sin and hell,
Your liberty receive;
Redemption through His blood
Throughout the world proclaim.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus forgiveness receives.
Marriage is one of poignant figures God uses to picture His relationship with mankind in both the Old and New Testaments. Marriage is a picture that speaks of love, intimacy, privilege and responsibility.
The Marriage of Israel to Jehovah - Jehovah was the "Husband" of Israel (See Je 31:31, 32+, Isa 54:5, cf Ho 2:2) where the word "husband" is baal (master, owner - see baal, ba'al, ba'al) and is the same word used for Israel's "lover" with whom she had an adulterous affair, for these idols were often named "Baal!" In the OT, under the Old Covenant, Israel formally became Jehovah's "Wife" at the "ceremony" of the at the foot of Mt. Sinai (Ex 19:1,2+) when God gave Moses the Law and Israel said "Yes" (cf marriage ceremony where bride says "I do" - Israel the "bride" of Yahweh in effect said "I do"!) to the vows, the solemn, binding nature of their entrance into this covenant being marked by blood (Ex 24:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8+, see also Heb 9:18-21+). Israel was (repeatedly) an unfaithful, adulterous wife and was thus was disowned by Jehovah, but will she (Israel) will one day in the future repent (cf Zech 12:10-14+) and be restored (Is 62:4, 5 - note "married" = baal!) to be fulfilled in the Messianic Age - see
- [a] Events Leading up to the Millennium;
- [b] OT Promises of God to Israel which will finally be fulfilled in the Millennium).
The Marriage of Believers to Christ - In the NT, under the New Covenant, believers comprising the Church become the Bride of Christ (2Co 11:1, 2+, Re 19:6, 7, 8+) when they enter the New Covenant in His blood by grace through faith (Eph 2:8,9+).
ILLUSTRATION - REMOVING YOU HEAD FROM THE COLLAR! - A missionary in West Africa was trying to convey the meaning of the word redeem in the Bambara language. So he asked his African assistant to express it in his native tongue. "We say," the assistant replied, "that God took our heads out." "But how does that explain redemption?" the perplexed missionary asked. The man told him that many years ago some of his ancestors had been captured by slave-traders, chained together, and driven to the seacoast. Each of the prisoners had a heavy iron collar around his neck. As the slaves passed through a village, a chief might notice a friend of his among the captives and offer to pay the slave-traders in gold, ivory, silver, or brass. The prisoner would be redeemed by the payment. His head then would be taken out of his iron collar. What an unusual and graphic illustration of the word redeem! Ephesians 1:7+ states, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Jesus died on the cross to purchase our freedom from the bondage of sin. Have you put your trust in Jesus as your Redeemer? Let Him take your head out of the enslaving collar of sin and set you free. —Vernon C Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Redeemed--how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy-
His child, and forever I am.
Redeemed, and with the price of blood,
Which Thou hast shed for me,
I stand, a monument of grace,
A witness, Lord, for Thee.
(Play this great old hymn!)
Christ was lifted up on the cross
that we might be lifted out of our sin.
Charles Wesley's great hymn And Can It Be That I Should Gain (play this beautiful vocaloffering) parallels the preceding illustration...
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night.
Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray:
I woke the dungeon flamed with Light!
My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Amazing Love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
ILLUSTRATION: Redemption is a Gift of God BUT it Must Be Received (i.e., this divine gift can be refused!) - The year was 1829. A man by the name of George Wilson had been arrested, tried and convicted of murder and theft through the mail. Because his family was well known, when he was sent to prison, his family made appeal after appeal. Eventually the appeals reached the desk of the President Andrew Jackson. After he reviewed the files and because he knew the family and their background, and for their account he offered not just clemency, but a pardon to George Wilson. They took the news into the prison. George Wilson refused the pardon. He said he didn’t want it because he was guilty and deserved to die. They told him he couldn’t say no to it because it was a presidential pardon. But he said he could and was saying no to it. This is a true story. He refused the pardon. That set forth a tremendous legal battle because that question had never been raised in American history. Eventually it worked its way up to the Supreme Court and the decision came down from Chief Justice John Marshall, who said,
A pardon is of no effect until it is accepted by the one for whom it is intended. Though it is almost inconceivable that a condemned criminal would refuse a pardon, if he does refuse it, the pardon is of no effect. George Wilson must die. And die he did because he would not accept the pardon that had been offered.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"--in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Gal 3:13, 14)
The word redeemed (exagorazo [word study]) in Galatians 3:13 (commentary) means to purchase a slave for the purpose of setting him free. Galatians 5:1 "It was for freedom (eleutheria [word study]) that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." Eleutheria means freedom, independence or liberty but freedom is not a license to sin but in fact true liberty is living as we should not as we please (Ga 5:13; 1Pe 2:16). Freedom is presented as a signal blessing of the economy of grace, which, in contrast with the OT economy of Law (although clearly there were OT saints who partook of God's plenteous grace), is represented as including independence from religious regulations and legal restrictions (1Co 10:29; 2Co 3:17; Gal 2:4; 2Pe 2:19) and freedom from the yoke of the Mosaic Law (Gal 5:1, 13) and from the yoke of observances in general (1Pe 2:16). Freedom includes release from dominion or power or rule of our old "Adamic" sinful appetites and passions (Jas 1:25, 2:12). Some turn this "freedom" into licentiousness (Jude 1:4), but they are in grave error, for the freedom that our Goel purchased for us is not freedom to live now as we please (Gal 5:13), but the power to live life as we should, to be pleasing to our Master, to Whom we now belong by right of His paying the purchase price on the Cross (1Co 6:19, 1Co 6:20).
Redeemed (exagorazo) has the idea of “buying back” or “purchasing out of.” The idea is not just that of a rescue (as in the Biblical idea of salvation), but of paying a price in order to bring about the "great escape" or rescue from bondage to the power Sin, the dominion (exousia = the right and the might over sinners) of Satan, from the fear of Death (and the curse of the law which was death!) and from the strong pull to be conformed to this evil world system. Jesus paid the perfect, infinitely costly price with His precious blood to purchase sinners out from under the curse of the law. Glory! Hallelujah! Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
William MacDonald - Christ redeemed men by dying in their place, enduring the dreadful wrath of God against sins. The curse of God fell on Him as man’s Substitute. He did not become sinful in Himself, but man’s sins were placed upon Him. Christ did not redeem men from the curse of the law by keeping the Ten Commandments perfectly during His lifetime. Scripture does not teach that His perfect obedience to the law is reckoned to us. Rather He delivered men from the law by bearing its dreadful curse in death. Apart from His death there could be no salvation. (See context in Believer's Bible Commentary)
John Piper commenting on the world exhorts believers declaring that "We must cultivate the mindset of exiles. What this does mainly is sober us up and wake us up so that we don't drift with the world and take for granted that the way the world thinks and acts is the best way. We don't assume that what is on TV is helpful to the soul; we don't assume that the priorities of advertisers is helpful to the soul; we don't assume that the strategies and values of business and industry are helpful to the soul. We don't assume that any of this glorifies God. We stop and we think and we consult the Wisdom of our own country, heaven, and we don't assume that the conventional wisdom of this age is God's wisdom. We get our bearings from God in his word. When you see yourself as an alien and an exile with your citizenship in heaven, and God as your only Sovereign, you stop drifting with the current of the day. You ponder what is good for the soul and what honors God in everything: food, cars, videos, bathing suits, birth control, driving speeds, bed times, financial savings, education for the children, unreached peoples, famine, refugee camps, sports, death, and everything else. Aliens get their cue from God and not the world." (Read the full sermon The War Against the Soul and the Glory of God)
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.
Related Resource: See Commentary on John 19:30 - there is some overlap of information
Hark! the Voice of Love and Mercy
Hark! the voice of love and mercy
Sounds aloud from Calvary;
See, it rends the rocks asunder,
Shakes the earth, and veils the sky:
“It is finished!” “It is finished!”
“It is finished!” Hear the dying Savior cry;
Hear the dying Savior cry.
It is finished (5055) (tetelestai) is a single Greek verb teleo (see word study). and means that something is brought to an end, is fully accomplished, has achieved its destined goal or is brought to perfection. Indeed, all of these senses apply to Jesus' death on the Cross, but one sense of tetelestai presents a powerful picture of Jesus' finished work on the Cross, the grand work of redemption about which He Himself had "prophesied"...
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)
Glory Ever Be to Jesus
Glory ever be to Jesus,
God’s own well belovèd Son;
By His grace He hath redeemed us,
“It is finished,” all is done.
Saved by grace through faith in Jesus,
Saved by His own precious blood,
May we in His love abiding,
Follow on to know the Lord.
Tetelestai was used in several ways in Jesus' day. A servant would use tetelestai when reporting to his or her master, “I have completed the work assigned to me” (cp Jesus words on His "work" in Jn 4:34,17:4) Jesus had brought to completion all the Father had desired for Him to accomplish as the God Man. When a priest examined an animal sacrifice and found it faultless, it was described as tetelestai. Jesus, of course, is the perfect Lamb of God, without spot or blemish (1Pe 1:18, 19+). When an artist completed a picture, or a writer a manuscript, they might say, “It is finished!” The death of Jesus on the cross “completes the picture” that God had been painting of "redemption" which God had painted from eternity past (cp 2Ti 1:9NIV+, Ep 3:11+, Titus 1:2+, 1Peter 1:20+).
Hallelujah! What a Savior
(Play Hymn sung by children)
Lifted up was He to die,
"It is finished," was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Perhaps the meaning that Jesus had foremost in His mind when He uttered the word tetelestai was related to its secular use in the context of payment of debts. When someone had a debt in ancient times and it was paid off, they would write "tetelestai" on the certificate signifying "Paid in Full". When He gave Himself on the cross, Jesus fully met the righteous demands of a holy law; He paid our debt in full. None of the Old Testament sacrifices could take away sins. Their blood only covered sin. But the Lamb of God shed His blood, (for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, Heb 9:15+) and that blood (and only that blood) can take away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29+; He 9:24+, He 9:25, 26+, He 9:27, 28+).
Go to Dark Gethsemane
Calvary’s mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete.
“It is finished!” hear Him cry; learn of Jesus Christ to die.
There is another sense in which tetelestai was used in the ancient world. When a Roman citizen was convicted of a crime, the law of that day slammed him in prison. They prepared a "Certificate of Debt" that listed all the crimes he was convicted of on it, and nailed it to his cell door for all to see. It remained nailed there so all would be assured that he served his full sentence, and "paid in full" the penalty ("debt owed") for his crimes. When Jesus shouted "Tetelestai" from the cross, it was a very familiar phrase to those within the sound of His voice. It was the same word that would be stamped across the Certificate of Debt after a criminal completed his prison term. It would literally mean "Paid in Full" for all your crimes. Then the criminal was given the certificate. He would be able to produce it to show that his crimes were "paid in full." He could never become a victim of "double jeopardy" (paying for the same crime twice - cp the result in Ro 8:1+ = No Condemnation and Ro 8:39+ = No Separation). This is a beautiful picture of what Christ did on the Cross, Paul recording (quoting the original version of the NLT) that...
(God the Father) canceled the record (Greek verb exaleipho = wiped it away, completely obliterating the evidence) that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. (Col 2:14+)
Finally, there is one other truth about tetelestai that is notable - it is in the perfect tense, a tense which is identifies a past completed action (or event) with continuing effects or results. In context the perfect tense clearly speaks of the past, historical reality of the Crucifixion of Christ, and the fact that His death on the Cross has permanent effects which ultimately will last throughout eternity! All that truth with one Greek tense! Beloved our Kinsman-Redeemer's ransom payment is sufficient for this life and the life to come! Let us live in the power of the Cross (1Co 1:18 where "being saved" is in the present tense indicating that believers are continually being saved every day of their life (also implying that in one sense we need His saving power to live the "victorious Christian life" day by day, even moment by moment! cp Mt 26:41, Gal 5:16+, Gal 5:17+). We have been saved [justification]. We are being saved [sanctification], We will be saved [glorification] - see discussion of Three Tenses of Salvation)
Leonard Ravenhill said of John 19:30
The Greatest Words Ever Uttered - By the Greatest Man That Ever Lived.... In these three words I see the consummation of all the Old Testament truth and the germination of all New Testament truth.
The evangelist Alexander Wooten was approached by a young man who asked, What must I do to be saved?
Wooten replied It’s too late!
The young man became alarmed asking. Do you mean that it’s too late for me to be saved? Is there nothing I can do?”
Wooten replied Too late! It’s already been done! The only thing you can do is believe.
It Is Finished!
Nothing, either great or small—
Nothing, sinner, no;
Jesus died and paid it all,
Long, long ago.
“It is finished!” yes, indeed,
Finished, ev’ry jot;
Sinner, this is all you need,
Tell me, is it not?
PAID IN FULL (Colossians 2:14) - The newspaper article reported that a Utah businessman had filed for bankruptcy and declared his debts to be $613 billion. It seemed ridiculous! What's more, the man claimed assets of only $7,310. In other words, if all debts were honored, his creditors would receive about one-millionth of a cent on the dollar. There was no way he could begin to pay his debts.
Sometimes I feel that's how I stand with God. Why should I even try to pay the debt of love that I owe Him? The situation seems hopeless. When I consider His demand of perfect righteousness, I feel totally bankrupt and helpless.
But then I remember that my debt has been taken care of. Jesus the Son of God shed His precious blood to pay the infinite price for my countless sins. Now I'm free to pursue a relationship with God that is motivated by gratitude and energized by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is what Colossians 2 is all about (cp Jn 19:30). The law of God has declared us spiritually bankrupt. But our great debt has been completely removed. It has been paid in full by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. We are free. The only thing we owe now is an eternal debt of thanks and praise to our wonderful Lord. — Mart De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
'Tis all that I can do!
Some think that they have everything
When riches come their way,
But that they're poor will be revealed
On God's accounting day.
-- Henry G. Bosch
Our salvation is free
because Christ paid an enormous price.
DONE! So many of our hopes and dreams remain unfulfilled. Composer Franz Schubert departed this world leaving behind his "Unfinished Symphony." Similarly, prolific author Charles Dickens was unable to fully develop the plot of his novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
We too undoubtedly have aspirations that we will be unable to fulfill. But what a blessing to know that the work of our redemption was totally and perfectly accomplished by Jesus on the cross.
The last words of Jesus, "It is finished," are actually a single word in the original language (John 19:30). But that word holds oceans of meaning. What Jesus gasped was "Completed!" or "Ended!" That cry from the cross announced that not only had His suffering come to an end but also His redemptive work was eternally accomplished. All that He had come to achieve in His human life was finished. Done!
We can do nothing to add to His sacrifice. Christ's self-giving death was all-sufficient. We stretch out the empty hand of faith, and God in grace puts into it the gift of eternal life.
Have you stretched out your hand of faith to receive this gift? — Vernon C. Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
"It is finished," Jesus cried,
Then on Calvary's cross He died;
Christ the Lord atonement made,
And sin's debt was fully paid.
Christ's sacrifice was what God desired
and what our sin required.
HE IS ENOUGH Sometimes we are overwhelmed by life. The crushing waves of disappointment, endless debt, debilitating illness, or trouble with people can cause hopelessness, depression, or despair. It happened to Jesus’ disciples. And it has happened to me.
Three statements by the Lord beginning with the words “It is . . .” offer us comfort, reassurance, and hope that Jesus is enough. The first is in Matthew 4 and is repeated three times: “It is written” (vv.4,7,10). In responding to the three temptations of Satan, Jesus gave us proof enough that the Word of God is true and overcomes the most powerful forms of temptation and pressure.
The second statement, “It is I” (Matt. 14:27), was spoken when Jesus told His terrified disciples that He Himself was presence enough to stop the howling storm and calm the raging seas.
Jesus spoke the third “It is” from the cross: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). He assured us that His death was provision enough to pay the debt for our sins and set us free.
Whatever our circumstances, Jesus is present with His love, compassion, and grace. He is proof, presence, and provision enough to carry us safely through. — David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
When trials overwhelm our souls
And tempt us to despair,
We need to reach out to the Lord
And trust His tender care. —Sper
God’s love does not keep us from trials;
it helps us get through them.
FINISHED! - Outside Madrid stands an ancient monastery where the kings of Spain have been buried. The architect designed an elongated arch so flat that the reigning monarch insisted it could not hold the structure above it.
Against the architect's protest, the king ordered that a column be placed underneath the arch as a safety precaution. After the king died, the architect revealed that he had deliberately made the column a quarter of an inch too short--and the arch had never sagged!
Nothing need be, or can be, added to the finished work of Christ on Calvary to sustain the weight of the world's salvation. Our Savior's cry from the cross, "It is finished!" (Jn. 19:30), is a translation of a single Greek word which more literally could be rendered as "Ended!" "Completed!" or "Accomplished!"
That one word tells of the greatest miracle our Lord performed, the work of redeeming a lost world. Because our redemption was perfectly finished, it is impossible for us to add even one submicroscopic work of our own to what was already done on the cross.
With utter assurance, then, we can rest our eternal hope on that one all-important word, "Finished!" — Vernon C. Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Once for all, O sinner, receive it!
Once for all, O brother, believe it!
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall.
Christ has redeemed us once for all. --Bliss
We are saved not by what we do
but by what Christ has done.
ADDING TO A MASTERPIECE - Could you improve on a masterpiece? Imagine that you are walking through the Louvre museum in Paris. As you approach the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, would you think about taking a palette and brushes and touching up the painting? Maybe put some more color in her cheeks? Perhaps change her nose a little?
"That's ridiculous!" you say. For nearly 500 years the Mona Lisa has been considered one of the greatest artistic works of all time. How absurd to think we could add anything to this masterpiece!
Yet that's what many people try to do with Christ's masterpiece—salvation. They think they must improve on it with some work of their own. But that masterpiece was completed when Jesus said, "It is finished," while hanging on the cross (John 19:30). Then He proved that His work of redemption was done when He rose from the dead.
When you hear that Jesus paid the price for your sin and that you don't have to do anything to merit God's grace, do you think it's too good to be true? Do you think there's something you must do to earn it?
You can't add anything! Receive God's gift of salvation. Jesus paid it all. The masterpiece is complete. — Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Christ's work for my salvation is complete!
No work of mine can add to what He's done;
I bow to worship at the Master's feet,
And honor God the Father's only Son. —Hess
Salvation is a gift to be received—not a goal to be achieved.
Spurgeon commenting on Jn 19:30 said...
There is nothing for God to do. “It is finished.” There is nothing for you to do. “It is finished.” Christ need not bleed. “It is finished.” You need not weep. “It is finished.” God the Holy Spirit need not delay because of your unworthiness, nor need you delay because of your helplessness. “It is finished.” Every stumbling block is rolled out of the road; every gate is opened. The bars of brass are broken, the gates of iron are burst asunder. “It is finished.” Come and welcome; come and welcome!
The general religion of mankind is “Do,” but the religion of a true Christian is “Done.” “It is finished,” is the believer’s conquering word.
What “it” was it that was finished? I will not attempt to expound it. It is the biggest “it” that ever was. Turn it over and you will see that it will grow, and grow, and grow, and grow, till it fills the whole earth: “It is finished.”
Octavius Winslow devotional...
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the spirit." John 19:30
A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:29, 30
Believer in Jesus! remember, all your confidence, all your hope, all your comfort flows from the finished work of your Savior. See that you unwittingly add nothing to the perfection of this work. You may be betrayed into this sin and this folly by looking within yourself, rather than to the person of Jesus; by attaching an importance too great to repentance and faith, and your own doings and strivings, rather than ceasing from your own works altogether, and resting for your peace, and joy, and hope; simply, entirely, and exclusively in the work of Jesus. Remember, that whatever we unintentionally add to the finished work of Christ mars the perfection and obscures the beauty of that work. "If you lift up your tool upon it, you have polluted it."
We have nothing to do, but in our moral pollution and nakedness to plunge beneath the fountain, and wrap ourselves within the robe of that Savior's blood and righteousness, who, when He expired on the tree, so completed our redemption, as to leave us nothing to do but to believe and be saved.
"It is finished!" Oh words pregnant of the deepest meaning! Oh words rich in the richest consolation! Salvation is finished! Look away from your fluctuating frames, and fitful feelings, and changing clouds, to "Jesus only." Look away from sins and guilt, from emptiness and poverty, to "Jesus only." "It is finished!" Let devils hear it, and tremble! Let sinners hear it, and believe! Let saints hear it, and rejoice! All is finished!
"Then, Lord, I flee to You, just as I am! I have stayed away from You too long, and am 'yet instead of getting better, I grew worse.' Too exclusively have I looked at my unworthiness, too absorbed have I been with my impoverishment, too bitterly have I mourned having nothing to pay. Upon Your own finished work I now cast myself. Save, Lord, and I shall be saved!"
Before this stupendous truth, let all creature merit sink, let all human glory pale, let all man's boasting vanish, and let Jesus be all in all. Perish, forms and ceremonies; perish, rites and rituals; perish, creeds and churches; perish, utterly and forever perish, whatever would be a substitute for the finished work of Jesus, whatever would tend to neutralize the finished work of Jesus, whatever would obscure with a cloud, or dim with a vapor; the beauty, the luster, and the glory of the finished work of Jesus!
It was "Jesus only" in the councils of eternity; it was "Jesus only" in the everlasting covenant of grace; it was "Jesus only" in the manger of Bethlehem; it was "Jesus only" in the garden of Gethsemane; it was "Jesus only" upon the cross of Calvary; it was "Jesus only" in the tomb of Joseph; it was "Jesus only" who, "when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." And it shall be "Jesus only"; the joy of our hearts, the object of our glory, the theme of our song, the Beloved of our adoration, our service, and our praise, through the endless ages of eternity. Oh, stand fast, in life and in death, by the finished work of Jesus.
John Flavel on John 19:30...
Has Christ perfected and completely finished all His work for us? How sweet a relief is this to against all the defects and imperfections of all the works which are wrought by us. There is nothing finished that we do. All our duties are imperfect duties; they come off lamely and defectively from our hands. O there is much sin and vanity in the best of our duties. But Jesus Christ has finished all His work, though we can finish none of ours. And so, even though we are defective, poor, imperfect creatures in ourselves, yet we are complete in Christ. His complete obedience being imputed to us, makes us complete, and without fault before God. (See the full discourse by Flavel on The Fountain of Life)
Our Daily Homily F B Meyer
COMPARING the Gospels, we discover that these words were said "with a loud voice." It was the shout of a conqueror, who has fought through a long and terrible day, but greets victory as evening closes in.
Finished, the long line of sacrificial rile. From the gates of Eden the blood of sacrifice had begun to flow, augmented by the confluent streams of the years. From that moment, however, not another drop need be shed. The types were finished now that the Antitype had been realized.
Finished, His fulfillment of prophecy.--How contradictory some had seemed! Ancient of Days, yet a babe; the Mighty God. yet marred of visage, and led to the slaughter; Son of Man, yet scion of David's stock; ruling in the midst of enemies, yet a bruised and broken Sufferer. But all of them, even to the last pathetic intimation of His dying thirst, fulfilled.
Finished, His mortal life.--Never again to be weary, hungered, tempted, buffeted, or to bear the contradiction of sinners. Never again to sweat the bloody sweat, or bear the accumulated faults of men. Nevermore to die.
Finished, a world's redemption.--He had wrought out and brought in a perfect salvation. The world, so far as God could make it so, was already reconciled. Sin was put away.
Finished, the perfect obedience.--He alone of all born of woman was able to say that there was nothing which the Father had asked that He had not given; nothing that the Father had imposed that He had not gladly borne. He had finished the work given Him to do.
Christ’s Victory, Death and Dominion.
1 I sing my Saviour’s wondrous death;
He conquered when he fell.
“’Tis finished!” said his dying breath,
And shook the gates of hell.
2 “’Tis finished!” our Immanuel cries;
The dreadful work is done.
Hence shall his sovereign throne arise;
His kingdom is begun.
3 His cross a sure foundation laid
For glory and renown,
When through the regions of the dead
He passed to reach the crown.
4 Exalted at his Father’s side,
Sits our victorious Lord;
To heaven and hell his hands divide
The vengeance or reward.
5 The saints from his propitious eye
Await their several crowns;
And all the sons of darkness fly
The terror of his frowns.
From Henry Law's "Family Prayers" - The following prayer is related to John 19:30...
Holy Father, The heavens, the earth, and all that are therein, proclaim Your wondrous goodness. But Your love shines forth in surpassing luster—at Calvary's stupendous scene! At the cross we see Your heavenly grace removing the tremendous load of our iniquities from us—and heaping them all on Your beloved Son! We see Him standing as a transgressor in our place. We see Him, who knew no sin—made sin for us. We see Him, the all-holy One—accounted as a curse! We see Your justice leading the spotless Lamb to the slaughter—and rigorously demanding the full payment for all our sin-debt!
The avenging sword enters into His very heart!
The stream of sin-atoning blood flows!
Full recompense is meted out!
Divine Justice can ask no more.
Charges against us are all obliterated.
The debt-book is cancelled. If our sins are searched for, they cannot now be found!
The spotless Lamb is devoted to all anguish—that we may be inheritors of all joy.
He is cast off from You—that we may be brought near to You.
He is treated as Your enemy—that we may be welcomed as Your friends.
He is deserted by You—that we may be received to Your everlasting favor.
He is surrendered to hell's worst—that we may attain heaven's best.
He is stripped—that we may be clothed.
He is wounded—that we may be healed.
He thirsts—that we may drink of the water of life.
He is in darkness—that we may rejoice in the glories of eternal day.
He weeps—that all tears may be forever wiped from our eyes.
He groans—that we may sing an endless song.
He endures all pain—that we may rejoice in unfading health.
He wears a crown of thorns—that we may receive a crown of glory.
He bows His head in death—that we may lift up our head in heaven.
He bears earth's reproach—that we may receive heaven's welcome.
He is tormented—that we may be comforted.
He is made all shame—that we may inherit all glory.
His eyes are dark in death—that our eyes may gaze on unclouded brightness.
He dies—that we may escape the second death, and live forevermore.
O gracious Father, thus You spare not Your only begotten Son—that You may spare us! All our sins are cast behind Your back—all are buried in the ocean of reconciling blood!
We can only fall low and cry, "We adore You for the gift of Your Son as our substitute; for the death of Your Son as our ransom!"
Blessed Jesus, we have been standing beneath Your cross. The sight constrains us to the deepest humility. Our vile iniquity—is the cause of Your shame! We cannot fathom the sins which plunged You into such depths of unutterable woe! We cannot estimate the burden of wrath which thus crushed You. We cannot deny that the sins which stain us are evils of infinite malignity, since nothing but Your blood could wash away their guilty stains! As transgressors, we abhor ourselves before You.
While we humbly gaze—may we anxiously ponder, "Why, blessed Jesus—why did You thus die?" May His precious answer sound through every part of our hearts and souls,
"I die—that you may not die.
I lay down My life—to purchase your life.
I present Myself as a sin-offering to—expiate all your sins.
My blood thus streams—to wash out all your guilt.
The fountain is thus opened in My side—to cleanse you from all impurity. I thus endure your curse. I thus pay your debt. I thus rescue you from all condemnation. I thus satisfy divine justice for you!"
Related Resources on John 19:30 "It is Finished"
- Devotional from Our Daily Bread entitled - Not Good Enough
- Devotional from Our Daily Bread entitled - Finished! (Another devotional) (Another = "Done")
- Devotional by Oswald Chambers - "It is Finished!"
- Devotional thoughts on John 19:30 - "It is Finished!"
- Sermon by Charles Simeon on John 19:30 - "It is Finished!"
- Sermon by C H Spurgeon on John 19:30 - Christ’s Finished Work
- Sermon by C H Spurgeon on John 19:30 Christ’s Dying Word for His Church
- Sermon by C H Spurgeon on John 19:30 It Is Finished!
Psalm 49:7, 8 (cp Job 14:4, 25:4, Isa 64:6KJV)
The New and the Old Testament both draw a clear distinction between the ransom and the redemption.
No man can by any means redeem (Hebrew padah  conveys sense of the achieving of the transfer of ownership from one to another through the payment of a price. Lxx = lutroo) his brother, nor give to God a ransom (Hebrew kopher/koper, a cover, a redemption-price paid; Lxx = Hexilasma = ransom, propitiatory offering, make atonement) for him: for the redemption (Heb. pidyom, a redeeming deliverance) of their soul is precious (costly), and must be let alone forever” (Ps. 49:7, 8)
ESV = Psalm 49:7, 8 Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice,
NET = Psalm 49:7, 8 Certainly a man cannot rescue his brother; he cannot pay God an adequate ransom price. (the ransom price for a human life is too high, and people go to their final destiny),
NIV Psalm 49:7, 8 No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him--the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough-
NJB = Psalm 49:7, 8 But no one can ever redeem himself or pay his own ransom to God, the price for himself is too high; it can never be
(Ps 49:7) With all their riches, the whole of them put together could not rescue a comrade from the chill grasp of death. They boast of what they will do with us, let them see to themselves. Let them weigh their gold in the scales of death, and see how much they can buy therewith from the worm and the grave. The poor are their equals in this respect; let them love their friend ever so dearly, they cannot give to God a ransom for him. A king's ransom would be of no avail, a Monte Rosa of rubies, an America of silver, a world of gold, a sun of diamonds, would all be utterly contemned. O ye boasters, think not to terrify us with your worthless wealth, go ye and intimidate death before ye threaten men in whom is immortality and life.
(Ps 49:8) For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever. Too great is the price, the purchase is hopeless. For ever must the attempt to redeem a soul with money remain a failure. Death comes and wealth cannot bribe him; hell follows and no golden key can unlock its dungeon. Vain, then, are your threatenings, ye possessors of the yellow clay; your childish toys are despised by men who estimate the value of possessions by the shekel of the sanctuary.
Spurgeon commenting on 1John 3:7, 8, 9, 10 said...
Well, labor under no mistake, sir. 'He that commits (present tense = as one's lifestyle) sin is of the devil.' (1Jn 3:8) It is no use making excuses and apologies; if you are a lover of sin, you shall go where sinners go. If you, who live after this fashion, say that you have believed in the precious blood of Christ, I do not believe you, sir. If you had a true faith in that precious blood, you would hate sin. If you dare to say you are trusting in the atonement while you live in sin, you lie, sir (1Jn 1:6, 4:20); you do not trust in the atonement; for where there is a real faith in the atoning sacrifice, it purifies the man (Titus 2:14+), and makes him hate the sin which shed the Redeemer’s blood.
Results of Redemption
Redemption has both a present and future fulfillment (Ro 8:23, Eph 4:30, Ep 1:14, Luke 21:28)
1) Forgiveness - see these related resources...
- List of links related to forgiveness/unforgiveness
- Multiple illustrations and quotes related to forgiveness/unforgiveness
- Exposition of "Forgiveness" in Ephesians 4:32
- Exposition of "Forgiveness" in Colossians 3:13
- Exposition of "Forgiveness" in Matthew 6:12 and Matthew 6:14-15
Redemption requires payment of a price and that price is the blood of Christ, in the OT this price was foreshadowed in many ways and surely one of the most dramatic being the shedding of the blood of countless sacrificial animals.
This is My blood of the covenant, which is to be shed on behalf of many for forgiveness of sins. (Mt 26:28)
As a result of redemption the believer has complete forgiveness of all sins, past, present and future. An understanding of the infinite cost to procure this forgiveness, far from giving one license to sin, causes one to be overwhelmed with love for the Redeemer, which motivates godly, holy behavior.
Redemption brings forgiveness, because “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22).
Colossians 1:13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
Our responsibility (our privilege and our power) as new creatures is to be...
bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. (Col 3:13)
This great liberating truth (unforgiveness will "eat you alive") is so important it was a major component of our Lord's teaching on how disciples are to pray...
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors
Read Jesus' words on prayer again. Like me you've probably recited these words so many times they have lost their true meaning. Do you see what Jesus is saying? This prayer begs several questions. "How do I forgive others?" "Does my forgiveness have an "asterisk" so to speak...I'll forgive you if...?" "Do I harbor unforgiveness in my heart?" If your answer is "yes", then this is how you are asking the Father to forgive you - just "as we also have forgiven" others! And because forgiveness is so important Jesus repeats His teaching to drive home the point that forgiveness is not optional for a believer...
For (introduces His explanation of Mt 6:12) if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But (presents a dramatic contrast) if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Mt 6:14, 15)
The Greek verb for “forgive" is aphiemi (word study) and the word for forgiveness” is aphesis (word study) which in essence pictures that which is sent away never to return. It was used as a legal term, meaning to repay a debt, to cancel a debt or to grant a pardon.
John Piper adds these thoughts on Jesus' words in Matthew 6...
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” does not mean that we are lost if the old unforgiving spirit raises its head just once. It means: No one who cherishes a grudge against someone dare approach God in search of mercy. God treats us in accordance with the belief of our heart: if we believe it is good and beautiful to harbor resentments and tabulate wrongs done against us, then God will recognize that our plea for forgiveness is sheer hypocrisy—for we will be asking him to do what we believe to be bad. It is a dreadful thing to try to make God your patsy by asking him to act in a way that you, as your action shows, esteem very lowly.
Forgiveness is not a work by which we earn God’s forgiveness. It flows from a heart satisfied with the mercy of God and rejoicing in the cancellation of our own ten million dollar debt (Matthew 18:24). With man it is impossible, but not with God. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:19). But the plant which endures does so because it is planted by God (Matthew 15:13). No one can boast in his self-wrought merit before God (Luke 17:10); and it is not the rigorous following of rules but a poor spirit and a total reliance on God’s mercy which attains a standing before God (Luke 18:9-14; Matthew 5:3).
But one thing is certain: the person who has, through mercy, been born from above cannot be the same any more. He cannot go on sinning as before since “the seed of God” is in him (1 John 3:9). He walks not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:4), for he is led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18). God is at work in him to will and to do his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). When we “forgive from the heart,” it is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us (Galatians 5:20). We are a new creation (Galatians 6:15); and the mark of our newness is not yet perfection, but a persistent inclination to forgive, a hasty repair of our failure to do so and a steady petition for God to disregard the sin that we are abandoning. (Forgive Us Our Debts as We Forgive Our Debtors)
- In Hebrew = goel haddam
As outlined in the table (click), Jesus Christ is the NT fulfillment of the OT shadow of the Kinsman Redeemer as portrayed by Boaz in the book of Ruth. In the NT we learn that our Kinsman Redeemer will redeem and restore all that man lost when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden and will avenge Adam's "murder" at that time, as described below.
What happened as a result of man's fall in the Garden?
When Adam and Eve sinned in that garden they became slaves to the power of Sin. (Ro 6:16+)
What else happened in the Garden?
Adam and Eve were "'murdered''! You may never have thought of their "death" in the Garden as "murder", but God called it that in the NT. They were alive but when they sinned they died spiritually and from that time on they were dead in their trespasses and sins (Ge 2:17, Ro 5:12+, Eph 2:1+). In John 8:43 we learn that Jesus turns to the Jewish religious leaders and asks them...
Why do you not understand what I am saying? (And before they can answer Jesus explains that...) It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the Devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies."
So Jesus calls Satan a murderer and the time phrase "in the beginning" carries us back to Genesis 3. God's promise of death was fulfilled to the letter (as it always is - both the positive and negative promises) when Adam and Eve sinned (Ge 2:17+).
What was God's original intention for Adam and Eve in regard to the earth?
CREATED TO BE KINGS!
The writer of Hebrews confirms God's original plan for man writing...
"THOU HAST MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; THOU HAST CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAST APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF THY HANDS; THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET (dominion over all -Ge 1:26,28)." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. (He 2:7+, He 2:8+)
Comment: While some interpret this passage as referring to Jesus, the context favors this as a reference to man (notice that He 2:9+ opens with a contrast "but we..." and clearly refers to Jesus. Note also the context of the original source -- Ps 8:4, 5, 6, especially verse 4). The writer of Hebrews points out that man is not, as evolutionists foolishly reason, "a little higher than the apes," but rather "a little lower than the angels." The Psalmist refers to God's purpose in creating man with his original destiny being to reign as master over all nature. The verb stephanoo [word study] means to crown with honor and indeed when God created Adam and Eve sinless, pure and innocent, He bestowed on them honor and glory. When they sinned they lost their regal rule. Someday, this honor and the right to rule over the earth will be restored but not until Jesus our Kinsman Redeemer completes His work of redemption and restoration of creation.
KJV Bible Commentary: This Psalm (Heb 2:7, 8 quotes Psalm 8:5, 6) does not speak both of man and Christ; it is not messianic. The son of man is not to be distinguished from man. The phrases are merely an example of the common synonymous parallelism in Hebrew poetry. “Hence this passage was not regarded as a messianic prediction by Jewish teachers, but as a description of what God intended man to be” (Kent, p. 53). God made man a little lower than the angels. (See KJV Bible Commentary)
William MacDonald: (1) Ps 8:5 refers to man's unfallen state; (2) Heb 2:7 pictures man's fallen state; (3) Heb 2:9 denotes Christ's human and unglorified state (cf. Heb 2:7-9). (Online Believer's Bible Commentary)
Kenneth Wuest commenting on Hebrews 2:7-8: Adam was therefore made for a little time lower than the angels. In his position as the federal head of the race, in his unfallen state, God crowned him with glory and honor. This is a picture of Adam in the paradise of Eden, before he sinned...The position of Adam as the federal head of the human race, his control of the animal kingdom through love, all spoke of his exalted position. And he was given honor and glory in view of it.... (He 2:8) God put all things in subjection to Adam. He was the head of the human race, the lord of the earth. Even the animal kingdom was in subjection to him. But now comes a sad note. The words, “But now we see not yet all things put under him,” point to the fact that Adam through his fall into sin, lost the dominion he had before enjoyed. He was no longer master of himself. He had become a fallen creature, with a totally depraved nature. He was a slave to sin. The animal kingdom was subservient to him not now through affection but fear. The ground, instead of yielding only good things, now produced also thorns, weeds, and other harmful things. Extremes of heat and cold, poisonous reptiles, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, all conspired to make his life a constant battle to survive. He had lost the dominion over all these things. But now, in the midst of this dark picture of man’s lost dominion, the writer (in He 2:9) calls our attention to a bright beam of light that pierces the surrounding gloom. It is Jesus. (Wuest Word Studies - Eerdman Publishing Company Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 - used by permission)
John MacArthur: Did you know that God's original design destiny for man was that man is to be the king of the earth? And that everything in existence was to be in subjection to man...God originally intended that man in innocence was king over the undefiled earth. It also tells us here that he was created a little lower than the angels, so the chain of command is God, angels, man, and earth...It was not that man was lower than angels in the sense of importance to God. It was only that man was lower than angels in the sense that He was physical and angels were spiritual. (See his full discussion of The Rediscovery of Man's Lost Destiny)
Richard Phillips commenting on Heb 2:8 writes: the author points out how thorough mankind's dominion was: "Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control." Such was the lordship man was given over all the creation. Yet, the writer points out, this is not the situation we currently enjoy: "At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him." Here is a statement of the problem of our race—the problem of dominion lost. What God intended for man in creation is not what we see at present. What an understatement! As we look around, the Bible says, it certainly doesn't appear as if man has everything under control!...
Thus man—created by God as his image-bearer, crowned with glory and honor and dominion—became subject to God's curse even to the point of death. That curse marks mankind even now, with all its frustration and futility. Far from reigning over the creation, each and every one of us instead will return to the dust from which we came. This is the problem of mankind: Paradise lost, and with it the dominion and blessing offered by God. This is the problem of history—the basic problem set forth at the beginning of the Bible—the answer to which is unfolded in all the rest of Scripture. God's creation of mankind, recorded in Genesis 1:26 and poetically celebrated in Psalm 8, has been spoiled by Adam's sin and the resulting curse of death...When we see that man's fall into sin and death is the great problem of history, it is easier to see the focus of God's redemptive work in the achievement of Jesus Christ....
On one hand there is man, captured in the darkness of his Paradise lost. Then onto the stage God sends his own Son (He 2:9), the New Man and Second Adam. He is the answer both to man's problem and to the problem of history. He is the great, the last, the only hope of a dying race; in him is the fulfillment not only of man's promised destiny but of God's plan as set forth in Psalm 8. History has become his story. Jesus is the new Adam of the new creation; what Adam lost he has regained. All who are found in him through faith will partake of the new humanity's reclaimed glory and honor and dominion. "We see Jesus." This is the aim of the book of Hebrews from start to finish, to show us Jesus as the Answer, the One who reclaims what mankind was created to be and to do. (Reformed Expository Commentary – Hebrews)
And so we observe that Adam and Eve lost their crown and their right to rule over the earth, which had been God's original intention before sin entered the world...
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule (have dominion, subdue, prevail) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule (have dominion, subdue, prevail) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:26, 27, 28+)
MURDER IN THE
And thus before the Fall of man, the earth was under the dominion of Adam and Eve, but Satan crept in the perfect environment and craftily deceived them, tempting them to commit sin, and in effect (to use Jesus' words) "murdered" them "in the beginning". (Ge 3:1-6+). Having accomplished his goal, Satan, the great usurper, became the ruler, the prince over the world (Eph 2:2+)
In the temptation of Christ we read...
And he (Devil) led Him (Jesus) up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain (exousia = the right and the might) and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. (Luke 4:5,6+)
Comment: Notice that Jesus does not dispute Satan's claim as ruler over all the kingdoms of the earth. As discussed below Satan's rule is temporary and will terminated by our Kinsman Redeemer, who fulfills His obligation as the Avenger of Blood.
Other passages refer to Satan's present dominion over the whole world...
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power ("the power" not in the original Greek but implied by the context) of the evil one (implying Satan, cp 2Co 4:4). (1Jn 5:19+)
(Paul was given the gospel to take to the Gentiles) to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion (exousia = the right and the might) of Satan (Satan has been given temporary rule over fallen man and the entire world) to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.' (Acts 26:18+)
Paul explains the effect of Adam's sin on the whole of creation noting that...
the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (describing the believer's future glorified state that follows the time of the Rapture and the believer's change in the twinkling of an eye). For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now (birth pains speak of a "delivery", in context this is the time when Creation will be redeemed by the Kinsman Redeemer) And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption (apolutrosis) of our body. (Ro 8:20, 21+, Ro 8:22, 23+)
Comment: We who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer, are awaiting a future redemption which culminates when we receive our glorified bodies (glorification) an event sometimes referred to as future tense salvation (see Three Tenses of Salvation) (See similar truth taught in 1Pe1:5+, 1Pe 1:13+, Ro 8:30+). At the time of this "future redemption" believers will finally be freed even from the presence of Sin .
The divine curse on the ground (Ge 3:17+) extends through the entire created cosmos, not just the earth inhabited by man. And so we find that the creation is now travailing like a woman about to deliver a child. The "ETA" or delivery date of a glorious new age is intimately linked with the revealing of the redeemed children of God in glory.
And so creation is groaning and suffering, awaiting the glorious day when man receives back his crown and his right to rule!
Let's review -- What did man lose when Adam sinned?
The answer can be summarized as....
(1) The land and the right to rule the land.
(2) His life -- He died and was in murdered by Satan (Jn 8:44, Ge 2:16, 17)!
(3) His freedom -- Men became enslaved to sin and Satan and in so doing lost their freedom.
Jesus by becoming our Kinsman Redeemer (Goel) effectively and forever "reverses" every one of these losses!
Review - How did Jesus become our Kinsman Redeemer?
As outlined in the table(click), Jesus became our Kinsman by emptying "Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man." (Phil 2:7+, Php 2:8+) As the perfect God-Man He was now able to relate to men, meeting the qualifications (becoming a "kinsman") to provide the payment for our redemption. He had the desire to redeem us (Ro 5:8+). He had the adequate means to pay for the redemption price (1Pe 1:18, 19+), a payment He accomplished on Calvary His death on Calvary, in which He gave "Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:14+) His precious blood also paid the price to bring about the redemption of Creation including the land (the earth) over which sinful man had forfeited rule.
We see Jesus beginning His redemption of the land in Revelation first taking the "book" or scroll from God the Father. This is described in more detail below.
What is the relationship of the Kinsman-Redeemer to the Avenger of Blood?
In the OT, the Kinsman-Redeemer would also function as the Avenger of Blood (Blood Avenger) under certain circumstances, Moses recording that...
The blood avenger himself shall put the murderer to death; he shall put him to death when he meets him. (Nu 35:19+, see Nu 35:20-27).
Under this law, when someone intentionally put another person to death, the slain person's kinsman would have the right to put the murderer to death. Note that the Avenger of Blood is not also committing an act of murder, but an act of capital punishment which God, a principle God had established before the Law was given (Ge 9:6), and which Moses reaffirmed under the Law (Ex 21:12+). What is forbidden in Exodus 20:13+ is the crime of murder, and what is permitted in Numbers 35:19ff is the responsibility of of the Avenger of Blood to carry out capital punishment.
We allude to the "crime against man" earlier, but who murdered Adam and Eve (and in so doing the entire human race)?
The Serpent of Old, Satan, for as Jesus explained...
the devil...was a murderer from the beginning (beginning of time = the Garden of Eden), and does not stand in the truth (implying that the "weapon" he used to "murder" us was "the lie" - see below) (Jn 8:44)
What was the lie?
Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'? (Placing Doubt about God's Word in her mind)...And the serpent said to the woman, "You surely shall not die! (Directly contradicting God's Word) For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Brought God's goodness into question)." (Ge 3:1, 4, 5+)
So in the book of beginnings, we can see that the Devil became our murderer and also the usurper, who took man's ordained role to rule over the earth. In a sense Satan became a "temporary squatter" for although he was given the right and the might over the whole earth, this dominion was to be temporary and he did not receive the "title deed" (see below) of the earth. As we discover in Revelation 5 Jesus functioning as our Kinsman Redeemer receives the "title deed" of the earth and as our Blood Avenger, He avenges our murder by Satan in Revelation 20.
What is the Scroll (biblion) in Revelation 5 and what role does it play in the redemption and restoration of the world?
Although there is not uniform agreement regarding the meaning of the scroll, most conservative literal interpreters of the Revelation (e.g., John MacArthur, Warren Wiersbe, Henry Morris - The Revelation Record) hold that the scroll represents the the "Title Deed" to the earth.
Revelation 5+ records what John saw...
And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book (scroll) written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book (scroll) and to break its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book (scroll), or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy (axios) to open the book (scroll), or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome (nikao in the perfect tense = ) so as to open the book (scroll) and its seven seals." 6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain (perfect tense = past completed action [The Crucifixion] with continuing results/effect, speaks of the permanence of His past slaying, and it testified to by His scars, His marks of the new covenant, an unbreakable, eternal covenant), having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
The description of Jesus' "as if slain" needs to be further examined because of the beautiful picture it paints of the Passover Lamb, our Kinsman Redeemer....
In Isaiah the Lion of the tribe of Judah declares...
"Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands..." (Isaiah 49:16+)
Dave Guzik writes (and I agree) that "This has obvious and beautiful fulfillment in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus."
John records this description of the resurrection body of Jesus...
So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (Jn 20:19-20)
Compare the response of "doubting" Thomas...
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore were saying to him , "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." 26 And after eight days again His disciples were inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst, and said, "Peace be with you." 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing." 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." (Jn 10:25-29).
A Debtor to Mercy
—Original words by Augustus M. Toplady
music and alt. words by Bob Kauflin
My name from the palms of His hands
A debtor to mercy alone
Of covenant mercy I sing
I come with Your righteousness on
My humble offering to bring
The judgments of Your holy law
With me can have nothing to do
My Savior’s obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions
The work which Your goodness began
The arm of Your strength will complete
Your promise is yes and amen
And never was forfeited yet
The future or things that are now
No power below or above
Can make You Your purpose forego
Or sever my soul from Your love
My name from the palms of Your hands
Eternity will not erase
Impressed on Your heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace
Yes I, to the end will endure
Until I bow down at Your throne
Forever and always secure
Forever and always secure
Forever and always secure
A debtor to mercy alone
This discussion is from the book by Renald E Showers Maranatha -- Our Lord, Come!: A Definitive Study of the Rapture of the Church (CLICK TO BORROW) (the entire article is 24 pages with over 80 footnote references). (Buy it Maranatha)
CHAPTER FIVE THE SEALED SCROLL OF REVELATION 5
THE MAJOR DIVISIONS OF REVELATION
Revelation 1:19+ presents the major divisions of the Book of the Revelation. John was told, “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” This indicates three major divisions.
First, chapter 1 contains John’s record of the things he had seen (the glorified Christ and the things related to Him). Second, chapters 2 and 3 present the things that are (things of the present church age in which John was living).
Third, according to Revelation 4:1+, after John had seen the things that are, he saw a door opened in heaven and heard a voice saying, “Come up here, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” This statement indicates that the third major division of Revelation begins with chapter 4 and that chapters 4 through 22 record future events after the things of the church age in chapters 2 and 3. Note that the statement of Rev 4:1 adds the idea that the things that shall be hereafter “must” take place, meaning that the future events foretold in chapters 4 through 22 have been destined by God to happen and therefore are unavoidable.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF REVELATION 4 AND 5
Chapters 4 and 5 serve as the introduction of the third major division of Revelation. They portray the divine throne room of the universe and set the stage for what is foretold in chapters 6 through 22. They are the key to the purpose of the future events of those chapters.
Seven things related to the purpose of these future events emerge from chapters 4 and 5.
First, Revelation 4:8+ emphasizes the holiness of God. Day and night four creatures say, “Holy, holy, holy.” God’s holiness is His quality of being distinct from His creation. When Satan began His revolt against God, he challenged God’s holiness by asserting, “I will be like the Most High” (Isa. 14:14). This was Satan’s way of saying, “God, You are not unique or different in contrast with Your creation. As one of Your creatures, I shall become just like You.” In contrast with this bold challenge, four of God’s heavenly creatures continuously assert His holiness.
Second, Revelation 4:8–10+ and Rev 5:14 emphasize God’s eternality. God is the one “who was, and is, and is to come” (Rev 4:8+) and “that liveth forever and ever” (Rev 4:10+). God’s eternality indicates that He existed before creation. In contrast with creation, which had a beginning, the eternal God had no beginning. Thus, His eternality makes Him holy (different or unique) in contrast with creation.
Third, Revelation 4:11+ emphasizes that God created “all things” that have been created (the heavens, the earth, and everything in them) and that He created these things for His own benefit or purpose (lit., “on account of your will they were and were created”).
R. H. Charles declares that in chapter 4 “God the Creator is the centre of worship.” As the unique, eternal being who had no beginning, God is the one who had the wisdom and power to create everything for His own sovereign purpose.
Fourth, God’s power or authority to rule all of creation is emphasized in two ways in chapters 4 and 5. One, God’s throne is mentioned a total of 17 times. The word for throne, when used figuratively, indicates dominion or sovereignty. R.C.H. Lenski wrote concerning chapter 4, “Count how often ‘Throne’ (’thrones’) is repeated in this chapter—this is the great Throne Vision, God’s rule, power, dominion symbolized to mortal vision.” Two, the doxologies in Rev 4:11+ and Rev 5:13 use two words to ascribe great power to God. One of these words (kratos) sometimes “is designed to stress the power of God which none can withstand and which is sovereign over all.” “It denotes the superior power of God to which the final victory will belong.” The other word (dunamis) was used in statements that express “the hope and longing that God will demonstrate His power in a last great conflict, destroying His opponents and saving those who belong to Him. Thus, the righteous wait for God to reveal Himself in His power and definitively to establish His dominion.”
These words portray a divine power that is active in history. It shapes and sets a goal for history in accordance with God’s own sovereign will and purpose. These words refer to the power God uses to exercise His sovereign rule over His creation. In light of the usage of these power words, Walter Grundmann explains the significance of the doxologies in Revelation 4 and 5 as follows: “These doxologies in Rev. imply acknowledgment and acceptance of the power of God which has an eschatological character, which destroys hostile powers and which brings the world to perfection.”
Revelation 4:11+ declares that God is worthy to possess the power or authority to rule all of creation because He created “all things” that have been created, and He created them for His own benefit and sovereign purpose. Since God is the one who created the universe and everything in it, and since He created it for His own benefit and sovereign purpose, it all belongs to Him. As Creator, He alone is its legitimate owner; therefore, the right to rule the entire universe is exclusively His, including the right to use His power to crush any enemy who challenges His rule.
Fifth, the Redeemer and His work of redemption are emphasized through His portrayal as a slain Lamb in Revelation 5:6, 8–9, 12–13 and through the declaration that He has redeemed us by His blood (Rev 5:9+).
Sixth, Revelation 5:1–9 emphasizes the Redeemer’s worthiness to take the scroll from God’s hand, break its seven seals, open and read it. He is worthy to do this because of His work of redemption through His death and shed blood.
Seventh, Revelation 5:12–13 points out the Redeemer’s worthiness to exercise God’s ruling power. There the same power words for God’s rule noted earlier are ascribed to Him. In fact, in Rev 5:13 one of those words is used jointly for God and the Redeemer.
Verse 12 indicates that it is as the Lamb that was slain that the Redeemer is worthy, implying that the Redeemer is worthy to exercise God’s ruling power because of His redemptive work through His death and shed blood.
We should note that both the Redeemer’s worthiness to take the scroll from God’s hand, break its seals, open and read it and His worthiness to exercise God’s ruling power are the result of His work of redemption.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SEALED SCROLL
The major issue in Revelation 5 is finding someone worthy to take the scroll sealed with seven seals from God’s hand, break its seals, open and read it (Rev 5:1–2+). (The word translated “book” in these verses refers to a rolled scroll, the type mentioned in Ezekiel 2:9–3:2, not a modern type book.)
The facts that this is the major issue, that John wept much when no one was found worthy to do these things with the scroll (Rev 5:3–4+), and that God’s creatures broke into great doxologies when the Redeemer who was worthy took the sealed scroll from God’s hand (Rev 5:5–14+) together indicate that the sealed scroll is a very important document. It ties together the seven things emphasized in Revelation 4 and 5, which are related to the purpose of the future events foretold in chapters 6 through 22. The sealed scroll makes chapters 4 and 5 the key to the purpose of those future events.
In light of what we have seen here, the identification of the sealed scroll is critical. Apart from that identification, it is impossible to understand the significance or purpose of the future events of chapters 6 through 22. With regard to this, Gottlob Schrenk declared that the content of the scroll
must be brought into relation to the whole chain of judicial acts which unfold from c. 6 on and from which there develop organically the visions of the trumpets and bowls. Hence we are not concerned merely with the 6 or 7 seals themselves, but with all the last events up to the consummation. (Gottlob Schrenk, “biblion,” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, )
Whatever the sealed scroll is, its identification must relate to the facts that the unique, eternal God created the universe for His own benefit and sovereign purpose; that therefore He alone has the right to rule the entire universe; and that His right to rule includes the right to use His power to crush any enemy who challenges His rule. In addition, its identification must relate to the importance of the Redeemer and His redemptive work and the fact that the Redeemer is worthy to take the scroll from God’s hand, break its seals, open and read it, and exercise God’s ruling power because of His work of redemption.
In light of the importance that Revelation 5 attaches to the relationship of the sealed scroll to the Redeemer and His work of redemption, it seems apparent that the scroll is tied significantly to God’s program of redemption for the world. In order to understand that program and the identification of the sealed scroll, it will be necessary to examine as background a key program of God.
GOD’S PROGRAM OF LAND REDEMPTION FOR ISRAEL
Several significant principles were involved in God’s land redemption program for Israel under the Mosaic law.
The Principle that the Land of Israel Belonged to God
This was the first and foremost principle. In Leviticus 25:23+ God declared, “The land is mine.” He was its ultimate owner; therefore, “ultimate power over the land” rested with Him as Israel’s King (Ps. 149:2; Isa. 43:15). He alone had the right to rule and dispense it for His own benefit and in accordance with His own sovereign purpose.
The Principle of Tenant Possession
God gave His land to the people of Israel to possess as an inheritance forever (Ge. 13:15; 15:7; Dt. 19:14; Josh. 1:2). In spite of that fact, they were not free to regard themselves as its sole owners and authorities. Since God was the ultimate owner of the land, they were responsible to serve as His representatives, administering His rule over the land for His benefit, in accordance with His sovereign purpose, and in obedience to His commands. The Mosaic Law spelled out the details of this arrangement.
Scholars have described this principle in various ways. Max L. Margolis said, “The land, the law declares, properly belongs to YHWH, who is sole landlord, while all the Israelites are but his tenants.” (Max L. Margolis, “Agrarian Laws,” The Jewish Encyclopedia)
Stephen Herbert Bess wrote,
The proper concept of this divine ownership appears to be that every Israelite proprietor was to regard his holding as deriving from God himself, as though it had been apportioned to him from God… each head of a family holding his own land as from God....Yahweh was king in Israel, and the people conceived of their holdings as fiefs....Each family, or perhaps each individual, recognized the suzerainty of Yahweh and acknowledged themselves his vassals. The whole relationship harmonized well with the concept of God as the owner of the land and the people as his feudal tenants.
God expressed this relationship in the following statement: “For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God” (Lev. 25:55+). It is sign)ficant that God made this statement in one of the most important chapters expressing His ownership of the land of Israel and regulating the nation’s administration of that land.
In essence, God established a theocratic system with Israel under the Mosaic Law. A theocracy is a form of government in which God’s rule is administered by one or more representatives over a possession of God in accordance with His sovereign purpose and in obedience to His commands. The ancient rabbis understood that the laws God gave to Israel concerning the land of Israel “were made to promote the idea of theocracy.”
The Principle of Not Losing Tenant Possession Forever
Since God was the ultimate owner of the land of Israel, since He had given tenant possession of the land to the people of Israel forever (Ge 13:15; 2Chr. 20:7) (ED: SO MUCH FOR SO-CALLED replacement theology or supersessionism!), and since the Israelites were only the tenant administrators of God’s land, they were forbidden to sell the land forever. In Leviticus 25:23+ God declared, “The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me.”
Bess explained this principle as follows:
Inasmuch as the land was Yahweh’s land, the portion held by an Israelite was inalienable… an individual Israelite received his portion by inheritance. There was no other legal method devised whereby he might come into permanent possession of landed property, and there was therefore no proper way in which to dispose of property except to apportion it to his legal heirs.....This prohibition of a permanent sale was on the basis that the property was not actually the possessor’s to sell. He could not sell what he did not own. (Stephen Herbert Bess, Systems of Land Tenure in Ancient Israel, unpublished PhD. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1963)
If, because of mismanagement or other circumstances, an Israelite became so poverty-stricken that he was forced to sell the portion of land that was his tenant possession, he did not sell the ownership of the land. Instead, he sold the tenant possession or administration of the portion of land for a temporary period of time (Lev. 25:15–16, 25–27+). Concerning this, Bess wrote, “In actuality, the land was sold only in the sense that the use of the land for a number of years was surrendered so that it might be regarded as a kind of lease.” To prevent the sale of tenant possession or land administration from being permanent, God established the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:28+), which was the 50th year (the year following the seventh sabbatical year) in Israel’s God-ordained calendar system (Lev. 25:8–10+). Margolis explained the significance of the year of Jubilee as follows:
The Jubilee year was mainly instituted in order to prevent violent changes in the tenure of lands (Lev. 25:23+ et seq.). The land, the law declares, properly belongs to YHWH, who is sole landlord, while all the Israelites are but his tenants. Therefore the land must not be sold in perpetuity. It may be leased, or its crops may be sold; but in the Jubilee year the land returns to its original owner. (Max L. Margolis, “Agrarian Laws,” The Jewish Encyclopedia,)
Thus, God required that a sold tenant possession be returned to the original tenant or his heir in the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:10, 13, 28; 27:24).
The Principle of Not Losing Tenant Possession to a Person Outside the Original Tenant’s Tribe
God commanded, “Neither shall the inheritance be transferred from one tribe to another tribe, but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance” (Nu 36:9+).
God established regulations designed to keep each portion of land permanently in the tribe of the original tenant. Bess referred to one of these regulations as follows: “Concern that no land once allotted to a member of a tribe should ever pass into hands outside the tribe is expressed in Nu 27:8–11+.” In this passage God commanded that if a man died, his tenant possession could be given only to a member of that family.
But that regulation did not totally solve the problem of tenant possession passing from one tribe to another. If a man’s tenant possession was given to his daughter, and that daughter married outside her tribe, her sons would inherit her tenant possession. Her sons would be reckoned as belonging to the tribe of their father, rather than to the tribe of their mother. Thus, their inherited tenant possession, which originally belonged to their mother’s tribe, would become the property of their father’s tribe (Nu 36:1–4+).
To prevent this from happening, God established another regulation in Numbers 36:5–9+. Bess gave the following explanation of that regulation:
In order to prevent the transfer of land in this way from one tribe to another, the daughters of Zelophehad (and other brotherless heirs) were instructed that they might marry only within their own tribe. Every effort was to be made to see that every parcel of ground remain forever in the tribe (and perhaps clan) to which it was originally apportioned. (Stephen Herbert Bess, Systems of Land Tenure in Ancient Israel, unpublished PhD. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1963, p. 74.)
The Principle of Redemption
The Right of Redemption.
After having declared, “The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is mine” (Lev. 25:23+), God commanded, “And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land” (v. 24).
Bess wrote,“An integral part of that system which viewed the proprietorship of land within the framework of tribal ownership was the right of redemption.” (Stephen Herbert Bess, Systems of Land Tenure in Ancient Israel, unpublished PhD. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1963, p. 74.) If, because of poverty, an Israelite sold his tenant possession or a portion of it, he had the right to redeem it back at any time before the year of Jubilee if his circumstances enabled him to do so. In the meantime, his nearest kinsman also had the right and duty to redeem it before the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:25–26+). (Max L. Margolis, “Agrarian Laws,” The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 241.)
This right of redemption, including the duty of a kinsman, was another means of keeping tenancy of land within the clan and tribe to which it originally belonged.
The Redemption Price.
Whenever the right of redemption was exercised, the original tenant or his kinsman was required to pay a redemption price consisting of “the sum of money equivalent to the rent for the years the lease was yet supposed to run, namely, until the jubilee” (Lev. 25:27+). (Stephen Herbert Bess, Systems of Land Tenure in Ancient Israel, unpublished PhD. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1963, p. 80.)
The Kinsman-Redeemer’s Keeping of the Land.
We should note that although a kinsman paid the redemption price to redeem his relative’s lost land, he did not return the land to the relative before the year of Jubilee. Instead, the kinsman-redeemer kept the land to administer it for his own purposes. Concerning this practice Bess stated,
Redemption of the land was not a sentimental regulation that the kinsman should assist the needy by preserving the property for his less fortunate relative. The redeemer took the land into his own possession and used it for his own ends. The purpose that was served by the redemption was the retention of the land within the tribe and family. The land did not return to the hands of him who sold it until the jubilee, even when it was redeemed by a kinsman. (Stephen Herbert Bess, Systems of Land Tenure in Ancient Israel, unpublished PhD. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1963, p. 80.)
An example of this practice is found in Jeremiah 32:6–9+, where Jeremiah exercised the right of redemption for his cousin’s land. In this instance the cousin did not sell his tenant possession to a person outside the family. Instead, he came to his kinsman, Jeremiah, and asked him to redeem the land directly from him. The cousin said to Jeremiah, “The redemption is thine; buy it for thyself” (Jer 32:8+; cp. Ruth 4:8). That statement indicates that once Jeremiah, as the kinsman-redeemer, paid the redemption price, the land was his to administer. It was not returned immediately to the cousin.
The Deeds of Purchase.
In conjunction with Jeremiah’s payment of the land redemption price, two copies of the deed of purchase were made as legal evidence of the transaction and of Jeremiah’s right of tenant possession of the land (Jer. 32:10–16+). Concerning the meaning of the word translated “evidence” and “book” in this passage, Richard D. Patterson wrote,
The noun seper “writing,” “book” came to be used also of important legal documents (Deut 24:1, 3; Isa 50:1; Jer 3:8) or official letters (1Ki 21:8ff.; 2 Kgs 19:14; Est 1:22; Jer 29:1ff.). No doubt these were chiefly in the form of scrolls (e.g. Num 5:23; Ps 40:7; cf. Heb 10:7; Isa 34:4; Ezek 2:9), written in columns (Jer 36:23) and occasionally on both sides (Ezek 2:9–10; cf. Rev 5:1). (Richard D. Patterson, “seper,” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament,)
Jeremiah signed and sealed shut one copy of the scroll deed of purchase and had witnesses sign it, apparently on the outside (Jer. 32:10, 12). Concerning this practice, Weemse wrote,
For the manner of writing the contract, he who was to buy the ground wrote two instruments; the one to be sealed with his own signet, the other he showed unclosed to the witnesses, that they might subscribe and bear witness of that which was written. This, the witnesses did subscribe UPON THE BACK of the inclosed instrument. (Weemse on the Judicial Law of Moses, chapter 30, as quoted in Joseph A. Seiss, The Apocalypse)
No doubt this deed was sealed to prevent anyone from changing its contents. “Besides authenticating a document, the seal often was used as a means of security. Thus, sealed documents could be opened only by authorized persons.” (T. H. Weber, New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, 1967, p. 14.)
Jeremiah left the second copy unsealed (Jer. 32:11, 13–14) so that it could be read by anyone who wanted to know who had the right of tenant possession to this land.
The Need for the Sealed Scroll Deed.
Obviously an unsealed deed of purchase would be vulnerable to tampering or change by unscrupulous people who wanted to deny tenant possession to the rightful person. In light of this risk, there was always the possibility that someone would challenge the reliability of the unsealed deed and the right of tenant possession for the person named in it. It was therefore necessary to have the sealed deed of purchase as irrefutable evidence of who had the right of tenant possession. Sealing “guaranteed that the terms would not be changed.” (Norman C. Habel, Jeremiah, Lamentations in Concordia Commentary)
Gaston Maspero gave an example of an enclosed document being used as evidence.
Contracts stamped upon clay tablets have been found in Babylonia, enclosed in an envelope of clay, on the outside of which an exact duplicate of the contract was impressed: if in the course of time any disagreement arose, and it was suspected that the outside text had been tampered with, the envelope was broken in the presence of witnesses to see if the inside text agreed with it or not. (The Dawn of Civilization)
The possibility of someone challenging the right of tenant possession would be especially strong in a situation where the kinsman-redeemer did not take actual possession of the land for a long period of time after he had paid the redemption price for it because circumstances removed him for many years to a location far from the land, and usurpers occupied and used that land during his absence. That kind of situation would require the kinsman-redeemer to open and read the sealed scroll deed as irrefutable evidence of his right of tenant possession before he took actual possession of the land.
Such was the situation of Jeremiah. Although he had paid the price of redemption for his cousin’s land and thereby had gained the right of tenant possession, he could not take immediate, actual possession of the land for at least two reasons. First, Jeremiah was confined in prison when he paid the price of redemption (Jer. 32:2–3, 8–9). Second, his cousin’s land was “already under Babylonian control” (cf Jer 32:2 Jerusalem was being besieged) when Jeremiah paid for it. Because Israel had rebelled against God so persistently, its land inheritance had been turned over to foreigners (Lam. 5:2 - "Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers"; Jer. 32:21–24, 28–36). The Jews (including Jeremiah) would be exiled to other countries, and their land would continue under enemy control for several decades; but then the Jews would be regathered to their homeland, and their land would be restored to their control (Jer. 32:15, 37, 41–44). Because he knew that actual possession of the land could not take place for many years, Jeremiah commanded that both deeds of purchase be placed in a secure place for a long time (Jer. 32:13–15).
The Two Responsibilities of the Kinsman-Redeemer.
It is important to note that land redemption in Israel involved two significant responsibilities for the kinsman-redeemer. First, he had to pay the redemption price for the land and thereby obtain the right of tenant possession. Second, after obtaining that right he had to take actual possession of the land and exercise administrative control over it. In situations where the kinsman-redeemer did not take immediate possession of the land for a long period of time, he had to evict any usurpers before he could take actual possession of the land. Sometimes this eviction required the use of force by the kinsman-redeemer when the usurpers resisted removal from the land.
E. W. Bullinger referred to these two responsibilities of the kinsman redeemer as follows:
But the payment of the price is only one part of the work of redemption. If the price be paid and there be no power to take possession and eject the holder the payment is in vain. And if power be put forth and exercised in casting out the usurper, without the previous payment of the redemption price, it would not be a righteous act. So that for the redemption of the forfeited inheritance two things are absolutely necessary, price and power. (E. W. Bullinger, The Apocalypse or “The Day of the Lord ” )
THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE SEALED SCROLL OF REVELATION 5
The relationship of God’s program of land redemption for Israel to the sealed scroll of Revelation 5 can be seen through an examination of several parallels between God’s program of land redemption for Israel and His program of redemption for the world.
The First Parallel
Just as the land of Israel belonged to God, so the whole earth and everything in it is His. Because God created the earth and everything in it, He is its owner and sovereign King (Ex. 19:5; 1 Chr. 29:11; Ps. 24:1–2; 47:2–3; 7–9). Henry M. Morris wrote, “The earth is permanently God’s possession by right of creation.” (Henry M. Morris, The Revelation Record San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers, 1983, p. 96.)
The Second Parallel
Just as God gave His land of Israel to the people of Israel to possess as an inheritance forever, so He gave His earth to mankind to possess as an inheritance forever (Ps. 115:16; Gen. 1:26–28; Isa. 24:5 [“the everlasting covenant”]). In conjunction with this, it is interesting to note that the biblical term “son” involves the concept of “heir” (“and if a son, then an heir of God,” Gal. 4:7). Further, Luke 3:38 indicates that Adam was God’s son. As God’s son, Adam inherited God’s earth.
James Kelly expressed this truth as follows:
“What is the history of our earth? God made it ‘good,’ and it was consigned to Adam as his inheritance.”(James Kelly, The Apocalypse Interpreted in the Light of “The Day of thc Lord”,)
Along similar lines, Alfred Jenour stated,
The earth and all things in it were originally given to Adam and his posterity for a possession. This primeval grant is contained in the first chapter of Genesis (ver. 28)… Here, then, we have man’s original title-deed to the possession of the earth. It was given him by God himself, and is recorded in the very commencement of his Word. (Alfred Jenour, Rationale Apocalypticum)
In spite of the fact that God gave the earth to mankind, mankind was not free to regard themselves as sole owner and authority. Since God was the ultimate owner of the earth, mankind was responsible to serve as His representative, administering His rule over the earth for His benefit in accordance with His sovereign purpose and in obedience to His commands (Gen. 2:15–17). God was the landlord; mankind was the tenant possessor. In essence, God established a theocratic system with mankind at the time of creation.
The Third Parallel
The Restriction. Just as the Israelites were forbidden to lose forever their tenant possession or administration of the land portions that were their inheritance, so it was wrong for mankind to forfeit forever their tenant possession or administration of the earth that was their inheritance. It was wrong because God was the ultimate owner of the earth; He had given tenant possession of the earth to mankind forever, and mankind was only the tenant administrator of God’s earth. Mankind was not the ultimate owner of the earth; therefore, they did not have the right or authority to forfeit forever tenant possession or administration of God’s earth to anyone else.
The Loss of Tenant Possession. In the same manner that an Israelite lost tenant possession or administration of his land inheritance to another person because of mismanagement or, as in the case of the whole nation, to foreign usurpers, because of rebellion against God (Lam. 5:2), there is a genuine sense in which mankind forfeited tenant possession or administration of their earth inheritance to Satan because they followed Satan’s lead to rebel against God (Gen. 3).
As a result of getting the first man, Adam, to join his revolt against God, Satan usurped tenant possession of the earth away from its original tenant and has been exercising administrative control of the world system against God ever since. In other words, the theocracy was lost and replaced by a satanocracy. Several things indicate that this is so. For example, Satan had the authority to offer Jesus all the power and glory of the kingdoms of the world (Lk. 4:5–6); Satan declared that it had been delivered (perfect passive verb) to him by someone else (Adam, Lk. 4:6); Jesus called Satan “the prince of this world” (Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11); and Paul called him “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4).
Because mankind forfeited their God-given tenant possession of the earth to Satan, God placed nature under a curse (Gen. 3:17–19). In addition, according to Isaiah 24:5–6, the earth has become defiled and cursed because mankind transgressed God’s laws (the regulations that they were to obey in order to administer God’s rule over the earth), changed the ordinance (God’s ordinance that mankind was to be His representative tenant of the earth, administering His rule His way), and broke the everlasting covenant (the covenant that gave mankind tenant possession or administration of the earth forever). As a result of these actions, creation was made subject to vanity, corruption, groaning, and travails in pain. It can hardly wait until the day when, in conjunction with redemption, it will be released from this curse and defilement (Rom. 8:19–23).
Concerning the fact that mankind forfeited their tenant possession inheritance, Jenour wrote:
Thus, then, the earth from the moment of Adam’s transgression must have become, in respect to man, a forfeited inheritance. And this is in fact everywhere implied… It is implied in the promise to Christ, to whom God says, “Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for shine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” It is obvious from hence that the inheritance had been forfeited, otherwise the mention of a new heirship would be inappropriate. God having given the world to Adam in the first instance would certainly not have spoken of another heir, had not he to whom it was originally made over lost his title to it. We have, therefore, scriptural authority for asserting that the earth is to be regarded in the light of a forfeited or alienated inheritance.(Rationale Apocalypticum)
Kelly expressed it this way:
“But Adam sinned, and so the crown fell from his head; and, by a judicial permission this once fair domain of creation has lapsed into the hands of the usurper, Satan.” (The Apocalypse Interpreted in the Light of “The Day of thc Lord”,)
The Temporary Nature of the Loss. Just as the loss of their tenant possession inheritance by an Israelite and by the entire nation was temporary, so mankind’s loss of their tenant possession inheritance of the earth to Satan is temporary. Evidence for this will be presented later.
The Fourth Parallel
Just as God intended each Israelite tenant inheritance to remain forever the possession of the tribe to which it was given originally, so He intended the tenant inheritance of the earth to remain forever the possession of mankind to whom it was given originally. Thus, parallel to the fact that an Israelite was forbidden to lose his tenant possession inheritance to a person outside his tribe is the fact that it was wrong for mankind to forfeit their tenant possession inheritance to a being outside mankind. But they did forfeit their tenant possession inheritance to Satan, a being outside mankind (Satan is an angel [2 Cor. 11:14], not a human.)
The Fifth Parallel
Just as God established means, including the program of land redemption, to prevent the Israelites’ loss of tenant possession from being permanent, so He has established a program of redemption to prevent mankind’s loss of tenant possession of the earth to Satan from being permanent.
The Provision of the Kinsman-Redeemer. Parallel to the fact that God established a program for Israel through which a kinsman could redeem a tenant possession of property that had been lost by a relative is the fact that He also has established a program through which a kinsman of mankind redeems both mankind and the tenant possession of the earth, which mankind lost to Satan.
Just as the Israelite redeemer had to be a kinsman (a relative from the same clan and tribe) of the person who lost the tenant possession, so the Redeemer of mankind and their forfeited tenant possession of the earth had to be a kinsman (a relative of the same kind) of mankind. He had to be a human. No angel or any other kind of being would qualify.
Several things indicate that God has provided a qualified kinsman-redeemer for mankind.
First, immediately after mankind forfeited their tenant possession inheritance to Satan by following his lead and rebelling against God (Gen. 3:1–7), God promised that the woman’s “seed” (a human born of woman during the course of history) would “bruise” Satan (crush the usurper of mankind’s inheritance, Gen. 3:15).
Second, Paul declared that this promised one was sent forth by God and was “made of a woman” (a human born of woman) to do the work of redemption (Gal. 4:4–5).
Third, Hebrews indicates that the one who does the work of redemption is Christ (Heb. 9:12–15) and that He partook of mankind’s flesh and blood (not the nature of angels) so that He might “destroy” Satan (Heb. 2:14–16).
Fourth, John asserted that Jesus Christ, the Son of God (1 Jn. 2:22), came into the world in human flesh (1 Jn. 4:2) with a literal, physical, human body that could be seen and touched (1 Jn. 1:1), so “that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8).
Fifth, Christ talked about “the regeneration” of the future (Mt. 19:28). The word translated “regeneration” consists of two words. The first word, meaning “back, again, once more, anew,” is used “in expressions that denote a falling back into a previous state or a return to a previous activity.” It is used for situations in which “a state of being recurs in the same (or nearly the same) way as at first.” The second word is “genesis,” which means “birth, existence, origin.”45 Thus, the word translated “regeneration” could be translated “back to Genesis” or “Genesis again” and refers to a return to the original state that existed when the earth was born and is recorded in Genesis. In Matthew 19:28 Jesus declared that “the regeneration” would take place “when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory.” His terminology is significant. It indicates that when Christ, as the Son of man (as a human, a kinsman of mankind) rules the earth, there will be a return to the original state that existed when the earth was born, which is recorded in Genesis and involved mankind’s tenant possession or administration of the earth as God’s representative. Christ taught that He will begin to exercise that rule when He returns in glory with His holy angels (Mt. 25:31). Thus, when Christ returns to the earth immediately after the Great Tribulation and takes over the rule of the earth as the Kinsman-Redeemer, He will restore mankind’s forfeited inheritance. The first Adam lost that inheritance; Christ, as “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), will restore it.
Sixth, in Acts 3:19–21 Peter declared that “the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things” will come when God sends Christ back to be personally present on the earth. Earlier in his declaration (vv. 13–15), Peter made it clear that Christ was crucified and resurrected, thereby indicating that He was human (a kinsman of mankind) with a physical body.
Arndt and Gingrich stated that the word for “times” in the expression “the times of refreshing” is “one of the chief eschatological terms” and that the entire expression is a reference to “the Messianic Age.”47
Concerning this same expression, Eduard Schweizer wrote, “The context makes sense only if the ‘times of refreshing’ are the definitive age of salvation.” He asserted that it refers to “eschatological redemption.”
Regarding the word translated “restitution” in the expression “the times of restitution of all things,” Albrecht Oepke claimed that in ancient secular usage “the basic meaning is ‘restitution to an earlier state’ or ‘restoration.’” Concerning its meaning in Peter’s Acts 3:19–21 declaration, he wrote that it
cannot denote the conversion of persons but only the reconstitution or establishment of things. For the concept of restoration, which is so strong in the term, does not strictly refer to the content of the prophetic promise, but to the relations of which it speaks. These are restored, i.e., brought back to the integrity of creation, while the promise itself is established or fulfilled.
Thus, Peter was referring to the future restoration of the original order of things that God established on the earth at creation.
Concerning the relationship of the expressions “the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things,” Oepke stated that they “stand in correspondence and mutually explain one another.” They both refer to the same restoration of the original order of things. However, in light of the fact that these expressions involve two different Greek words translated “times,” they refer to two different aspects of that future restoration. The word for “times” in the expression “the times of refreshing” “marks the beginning of the transformation,” and the word for “times” in the expression “the times of restitution of all things” “conveys the thought of the lasting nature of the renewed world.”52
F. F. Bruce wrote that “the restitution” to which Peter referred in Acts 3:21 “appears to be identical with” “the regeneration” to which Jesus referred in Matthew 19:28, and that the restoration involved will include “a renovation of all nature.” (Commentary on the Book of the Acts )
In light of what has been seen, we can conclude that in Acts 3:19–21 Peter was referring to the future Messianic Age (the Millennium) that Christ will establish when, in conjunction with His coming and as the kinsman of mankind, He will redeem the earth by restoring the original order of things that God established on the earth at the time of creation. This restoration, to be that of the original creation order, will include restoration of mankind’s tenant possession or administration of the earth as God’s representative plus removal of the curse and defilement of nature.
The Redemption Price.
Just as the Israelite kinsman-redeemer was required to pay a redemption price to redeem the lost inheritance of his relative, so Christ, as the Kinsman-Redeemer of mankind and their tenant possession of the earth, was required to pay a redemption price to redeem mankind’s forfeited inheritance. The redemption price He paid was the shedding of His blood (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:18–19; Rev. 5:9).
The Kinsman-Redeemer’s Keeping of the Land.
Although an Israelite kinsman-redeemer paid the redemption price to redeem his relative’s lost tenant possession inheritance of land, he did not return the administration of the land to the relative who had lost it. Instead, he kept the land and administered it for his own purposes. In like manner, although Christ paid the redemption price to redeem mankind’s forfeited tenant possession inheritance of the earth, He will not return the administration of the whole earth to Adam, the man who forfeited it. As the Kinsman-Redeemer and last Adam, Christ will keep the earth to administer it for God’s purposes (Rev. 11:15). Christ “shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zech. 14:9).
The Deed of Purchase.
In light of the many parallels between God’s program of land redemption for Israel and His program of redemption for the world, it seems apparent that the sealed scroll Christ took from the right hand of God in heaven (Rev. 5) is the deed of purchase for mankind’s tenant possession or administration of the earth. This implies that just as scroll deeds of purchase were made when Jeremiah paid the redemption price for his cousin’s tenant possession of land, so a scroll deed of purchase was made when Christ paid the redemption price for mankind’s tenant possession of the earth by shedding His blood on the cross.
The fact that the sealed scroll of Revelation 5 had writing on both the inside and outside (v. 1), in the same manner as Jeremiah’s and other deeds of purchase in Israel’s land redemption system, indicates that it is a deed of purchase. Joseph A. Seiss wrote concerning this twofold writing on the Revelation 5 scroll:
This again tends to identify it with these books of forfeited inheritances. Within were the specifications of the forfeiture; without were the names and attestations of the witnesses; for this is the manner in which these documents were attested.
When writing about the revelation 5 scroll, Jenour stated, “We regard it as a COVENANT DEED, the book in which were registered the terms of man’s redemption, and his restoration to the dominion of the earth and all those privileges which he had forfeited by transgression.”
Both Kelly and Morris asserted that the scroll of Revelation 5 is the title deed to the earth.
In the same manner that Jeremiah’s scrolls were legal evidence of his payment of the redemption price and therefore of his right of tenant possession of the land, so Christ’s scroll deed is legal evidence of His payment of the redemption price and therefore of His right of tenant possession of the earth. In conjunction with this, Kelly wrote,
Provision has accordingly been made, not merely for the salvation of man, but for the recovery of his lost inheritance. The redemption price has been duly paid; and “the evidence of the purchase,” represented by the expressive symbol of the sealed book, is exhibited in this vision as in the Divine possession; its formal production at length taking place, because now, “He whose right it is,” is coming forth to assert it.
The Need for the Sealed Scroll Deed.
One of Jeremiah’s scroll deeds was sealed to prevent anyone from changing its contents, giving that scroll the nature of irrefutable evidence. Parallel to this is the fact that Christ’s scroll deed is sealed with seven seals (Rev. 5:1, 5). Since in the Bible the number seven signifies “what is total or complete”, the seven seals on Christ’s scroll make it totally secure from tampering or change. Thus, they are the guarantee that Christ’s scroll deed is absolutely irrefutable evidence that He is the Kinsman-Redeemer who has the right to take tenant possession of the earth. Gottfried Fitzer wrote that “The seal served as a legal protection and guarantee in many ways, esp. in relation to property.”60
Jeremiah’s scroll deeds were placed in a secure place where they could be preserved for a long period of time, since he did not take actual possession of the land immediately after paying the redemption price for it because circumstances removed him for many years to a location far from the land. In like manner, Christ’s scroll deed was placed in a secure place (God’s right hand in heaven, Rev. 5:1, 7) for a long period of time because He did not take actual possession of the earth immediately after paying the redemption price for it at the cross, being removed for many years to a location far from the earth (heaven, Acts 1:9–11).
Just as foreign squatters controlled the land of Israel (including the land Jeremiah had purchased) for many years while the Jews and Jeremiah were removed from it, so foreign squatters (Satan and the human members of his kingdom) are controlling the world system during the years Christ is removed from the earth.
The Two Responsibilities of the Kinsman-Redeemer.
Just as land redemption in Israel involved two significant responsibilities for the kinsman-redeemer, so the redemption of the earth involves the same two responsibilities for Christ, mankind’s Kinsman-Redeemer. First, He had to pay the redemption price for the earth and thereby obtain the right of tenant possession. Second, now that Christ has obtained that right, He must take actual possession of the earth and exercise administrative control over it as the last Adam, God’s representative.
Several things presented in Revelation 5 relate directly to Christ’s two responsibilities as mankind’s Kinsman-Redeemer. First, the three titles assigned to Him (vv. 5–6) portray Him as both the one who has paid the redemption price and the one who will take possession of the earth to rule it.
The first title is “the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” The lion in ancient times was “a symbol of power and courage.” Historically, the lion has been regarded as the king of the animal domain. Thus, Christ as “the Lion” has power to rule.
This idea is emphasized further by the designation of Christ as the Lion “of the tribe of Judah,” which is based on Jacob’s prophecy concerning his son, Judah, and his tribal descendants (Gen. 49:8–10). This prophecy declared that Judah would be the ruling tribe of Israel, have the power to defeat its enemies (cp. 2Sa 22:41; Ps. 18:40), be characterized by the action of a lion, always have the right to rule, and have all this power and right to rule culminate in its ultimate descendant, the Messiah, to whom the people will gather for leadership and instruction. Wilhelm Michaelis claimed that this prophecy was interpreted in later Judaism “in terms of the Messiah.”
We can conclude, then, that in the context of Revelation 5 the title “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” is applied to Christ to indicate that He is the one who has the power and right to defeat Satan and his followers, by evicting them and their rule from the earth, and to take possession of the earth to rule it as the last Adam.
The second title applied to Christ is “the Root of David.” This title is based on Isaiah 11:10, which, in its context, talks about “a root of Jesse” (root out of David’s father) “in a Messianic sense.” Since Jesse was the father of David, the first king from the tribe of Judah, and thereby the father of the royal family of the tribe of Judah, it appears that both of these titles were designed to indicate that the Messiah would be a descendant of the royal family of Judah and therefore would have the right and authority to rule.
The Hebrew word translated “root” in the expression “root of Jesse” “denotes both the relic of past glory and also the hopeful starting-point for a better future.” The idea involved is “From the root a fallen tree can renew itself and put forth fresh shoots, Job 14:7–9. The root, then, is the hope of a new beginning after catastrophe.”
This idea applies to the expression “root of Jesse” in Isaiah 11:10. When the royal family of the tribe of Judah provided the nation with godly kings, both that family and the nation experienced great glory. However, as a result of ungodly kings and rebellious people, the royal family was cut down, like a tree, from exercising rule, and the nation fell on very hard times through foreign captivity and scattering. Since that captivity, the royal family of Judah has not exercised rule but has remained dormant, just as a stump gives no evidence of having life. The stump of this royal family will spring to life again suddenly when its King (the Messiah or Christ) springs forth from it to rule. “From the pitiable remnant of the house of Jesse there will come forth, as from the remaining stump of a tree, a new shoot which will establish the coming kingdom of peace and righteousness.”
Isaiah 11 says that during the Messiah’s rule the curse will be removed from creation. Once again animals will be tame and snakes harmless. God will be known throughout the world. The Messiah will be the center of world attention, and even the Gentiles will seek Him as their ruler. The expression “his rest shall be glorious” (v. 10) indicates that the Messiah will impress the world by defeating His enemies and giving the earth rest.
In light of what has been seen, it appears that the title “the root of David” in Revelation 5 is designed to communicate the idea that as a descendant of the royal family of Judah, Christ will defeat His enemies (Satan and his followers), give the earth rest from their rebellious rule and the curse on creation, and rule the entire world with peace and righteousness.
The third title applied to Christ is “the Lamb that was slain.” The song recorded in Revelation 5:9–10, which emphasizes Christ’s crucifixion and the shedding of His blood, indicates that this title refers to the redemptive work of Christ. When Christ shed His blood on the cross, He functioned as “the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). As the Lamb that was slain, Christ fulfilled the first responsibility of a kinsman-redeemer—He paid the redemption price and thereby obtained the right of tenant possession. In line with this, the song of Revelation 5:9–10 declares that Christ is worthy to take the scroll and open its seals because He was slain and accomplished His redemptive work.
We should note, however, that the Lamb that was slain had seven horns (Rev 5:6). Werner Foerster said that in the Old Testament the horn “is a direct term for power.” Passages such as Deuteronomy 33:17; 1Ki 22:11; and Zechariah 1:18–21 indicate that this is so. In later Judaism “the growing of horns on lambs denotes their growing power.” In light of the significance of horns, Foerster explained the implication of the seven horns on the Lamb in Revelation 5 as follows: “In accordance with the symbolic meaning of the number seven and of the figure of the horn, the seven horns of the Lamb express the divine plentitude of power.” As the slain Lamb of God who paid the price of redemption, Christ has the fullness of divine power necessary to crush His enemies and take over the rule of the earth.
In line with this understanding of the Lamb that was slain and had seven horns, William Barclay wrote,
Here is the great paradox: the Lamb bears the sacrificial wounds upon it; but at the same time it is clothed with the very might of God which can now shatter and break its enemies. The Lamb has seven horns; we have already seen that the number seven stands for completeness and perfection, the power of the lamb is perfect, full, complete, beyond withstanding.
Joachim Jeremias asserted that “the statements of Revelation concerning Christ as” Lamb “depict Him as Redeemer and Ruler.”
A second thing in Revelation 5 directly related to Christ’s two responsibilities as mankind’s Kinsman-Redeemer is the statement that Christ “has prevailed to open the scroll, and to loose its seven seals” (Rev 5:5). Otto Bauernfiend stated, concerning the meaning of the word translated “has prevailed” and the word group to which it belongs, “The word group denotes ‘victory’ or ‘superiority,’… the basic sense of genuine superiority and overwhelming success generally remains.” He further declared that it is generally assumed that such victory “is demonstrated by an action, by the overthrow of an opposing force.” Thus, it appears that Revelation 5:5 is indicating that Christ has authority - to open the scroll and loose its seven seals because of a previous victory He gained over Satan and his forces.
Since Revelation 5:9 asserts that Christ is worthy to take the scroll and open its seals because He was slain and has redeemed mankind by His blood, we can conclude that the previous victory Christ gained over Satan and his forces, which gives Him the authority to open the scroll and loose its seven seals, was His redemptive work on the cross. Christ defeated Satan and his forces when He paid the redemption price of His shed blood. Through the payment of that price, Christ defeated Satan and his forces in the sense that He gained the right to take tenant possession of the earth away from them and rule the earth as the last Adam. This truth sheds light on the meaning of Christ’s statement just before He went to the cross, “the prince of this world is judged” (Jn. 16:11). Christ’s death sealed Satan’s doom. At the proper time, determined sovereignly by God, Christ will exercise the right He gained at the cross to throw out the usurper.
Concerning this, Gottlob Schrenk wrote, “Triumphant in His sacrificial death, Christ can execute the divine will up to the the final consummation. Thus the cross is the basis of His ruling power, which can bring the divine lordship to its goal.”
A third thing in Revelation 5 relating to Christ’s two Kinsman-Redeemer responsibilities is the declaration that those people who have been redeemed by Christ’s blood “shall reign on the earth” (Rev 5:9–10). It is important to note that the verb translated “shall reign” is in the future tense in the Greek text and that this declaration will be made when Christ takes the scroll from God’s hand. Thus, the redeemed will reign on the earth after Christ takes the sealed scroll.
The significance of this declaration and the future tense of its verb is stated by Jenour,
Now, why does the ransomed Church in celebrating the praises of its Redeemer, and declaring his worthiness to open the book, add, at the close of its doxology, “and we shall reign upon the earth,” but because the redemption wrought out has reference to the earth, and its restoration to its original possessor? And what makes this the more striking is, the use of the future tense in regard to this anticipated dominion over the earth. It is not said, we reign, but we shall reign; ie., when thou hast opened the sealed covenant deed, and fully established thy right to the purchased possession, and hast put all opposing enemies under thy feet, then shall we reign with thee upon the earth.
Thus, once again, Revelation 5 associates Christ’s redemptive work with the future rule of the earth. It is interesting to note that the Apostle Paul also declared that church saints “shall reign” (future tense) with Christ (2 Tim. 2:12).
A fourth thing in Revelation 5 relating to Christ’s two responsibilities as the Kinsman-Redeemer is the doxologies found in Rev 5:8–13, which were expressed when Christ took the scroll from God’s hand (Rev 5:7–8). The first doxology (Rev 5:8–10) emphasizes Christ’s past payment of the redemption price through the shedding of His blood; but, as noted previously, it includes the rule of the earth by the redeemed. The last part of the doxologies (Rev 5:11–13) declares that as the redemptive Lamb that was slain, Christ is worthy to receive many significant things, including power. In the Greek text, that power is expressed with different words. Earlier in this chapter we noted that these words refer to God’s power to crush His enemies and establish and exercise His sovereign rule over His creation. Thus, the last part of the doxologies of Revelation 5 declares that because Christ has already paid the redemption price, He is worthy to have and exercise God’s power to crush Satan and his forces and rule the earth as God’s representative.
Taken together, these four things in Revelation 5 indicate three things concerning Christ’s two Kinsman-Redeemer responsibilities.
First, Christ fulfilled the first responsibility when He paid the redemption price by shedding His blood on the cross and thereby obtained the right to take tenant possession of the earth.
Second, because He fulfilled the first responsibility, Christ is worthy to take the scroll, break its seals, open it, have and exercise God’s power to crush Satan and his forces, and rule the earth.
Third, Christ will do these things, thus fulfilling His second Kinsman Redeemer responsibility.
Conclusion Concerning the Scroll
The five parallels between God’s program of land redemption for Israel and His program of redemption for the earth prompt the following conclusion: The sealed scroll of Revelation 5 is the deed of purchase for mankind’s tenant possession or administration of the earth. This deed was made when Christ paid the redemption price by shedding His blood on the cross for mankind’s tenant possession of the earth. (Click here to read the background discussion beginning on page 74 that precedes the discussion below -- the entire article is 24 pages with over 80 footnote references).
What transpires when our "worthy" Kinsman Redeemer breaks the seal and opens the Seven Sealed Scroll?
As the Lamb broke the first seal of the Seven Sealed Scroll, He set in motion the sequential events through the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowl judgments, which culminate in the kingdom of this world becoming the kingdom of our Christ. (Rev 11:15+)
What about the redemption of the land that had been temporarily given to Satan?
Jesus becomes the REDEEMER OF THE LAND that had been "sold to another". In the OT God provided the year of Jubilee every 50 years, and at this time the slaves were to be set free and the land returned to its original owner (cp Lev 25:10, 13, 39, 40, 41, 53, 54+), these events in a sense pre-figuring the return of the land to mankind who had forfeited it when Adam sinned. To be sure, the Jews were excited in the year of Jubilee. But we as blood bought, heaven bound believers have a "Jubilee" coming like no one has ever seen because we have a KINSMAN REDEEMER that is going to take the scroll out of the hand of Him Who sits on the throne and He is going to break the seals which lead to the trumpets, the seventh culminating in the Kingdom of this world becoming the Kingdom of His Christ. John alludes to this glorious of restoration of the land...
And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase (agorazo) for God with Thy blood (a picture of redemption) men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom (Adam relinquished his rule, but the Last Adam [1Co 15:45+], our Redeemer, restores rule to the redeemed) and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." (Rev 5:9-10+)
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power (all who are overcomers - see 1Jn 5:4, 5 = all believers), but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Rev 20:6+)
By Christ Redeemed, in Christ Restored,
We keep the memory adored,
And show the death of our dear Lord,
Until He come, Until He come.
The "land" redeemed by the precious blood of our Kinsman Redeemer and returned to men and women who have been reborn by placing their faith in their Redeemer. Then our Kinsman Redeemer fulfills one final role of Avenging our blood, by punishing our murderer Satan.
And what happens to the "great dragon...the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world"?
After describing the glorious period of 1000 years (Millennium) in which Satan is bound (Rev 20:1-3+), John describes his brief "unleashing" and his final punishment...
And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev 20:7-10+)
Comment: The devil is finally and eternally cast into the lake of fire, where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched. This is the destination for all who fail to believe in Messiah as their Redeemer, but it was not originally prepared for man but for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41)
So Jesus our KINSMAN-REDEEMER has also became our BLOOD AVENGER.
TRUMPET WILL SOUND
John writes these fitting words...
And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become (prophetic aorist - see comment) the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, "We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast, because Thou hast taken Thy great power and hast begun to reign. 18 "And the nations were enraged, and Thy wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth." (Rev 11:15-18+)
Comment: Garland explains that "has become" is the "prophetic aorist. The event is so certain in the sounding of the seventh angel that it is treated as if already past. However, the kingdom will not have arrived in totality until all seven bowl judgments are poured forth (Rev. 16:17+) and the King Himself returns to earth to defeat the armies of the nations (Isa. 63:1-6+; Zec. 12:1-9+; Zech 14:1-8+; Rev. 19:11-21+).
John MacArthur explains: The sounding of the 7th trumpet marks a significant milestone in the book of Revelation. It sets in motion the final events leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the establishment of His earthly millennial kingdom. Rev 10:7+ expresses the finality of the seventh trumpet: “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.” That mystery is the full revelation of the consummation of God’s plan. It was prophesied by the Old Testament preachers, but its fullness was never revealed until the book of Revelation. (See context in Revelation 1-22 MacArthur New Testament Commentary )
The seventh trumpet sets in motion the final consummation of God’s redemptive plan for the present universe. After the sounding of the seventh trumpet will come the final fury of the Day of the Lord judgments (Rev 16:1-21+), the final harvest of judgment on earth (Re 11:18+; Rev 16:19+), and the Lamb’s defeat of the kings of the earth (Rev 17:12-18+), culminating in the final, climactic triumph of Christ at Armageddon (Re 19:11-21+). The sounding of the seventh trumpet signals God’s answer to the prayer, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt 6:10+). That answer sweeps through Rev 12:1-22:21 as God finishes His mighty work of reclaiming creation from the usurper, Satan...Though its effects on earth were delayed (as with the seventh seal; Rev 8:2-5+), there was an immediate response in heaven when the seventh angel sounded his (7th) trumpet...That dramatic proclamation is obviously connected to the effects of the seventh trumpet. There is unrestrained joy that the power of Satan is to be forever broken, and Jesus Christ is to reign supreme as King of kings and Lord of lords. With the defeat of the usurper, the question of sovereignty over the world will be forever settled. What Jesus refused to take on Satan’s terms (cf. Lk 4:5-8+) He will take on His own terms. Heaven rejoices that the long rebellion of the world against God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is about to end. The setting up of Christ’s long-awaited kingdom (Ed: See discussion of Millennium 2 and Millennium 3) is the apex of redemptive history. (See The MacArthur New Testament Commentary) (Bolding added)
WORTHY IS THE LAMB!
BREAK YOUR SEALS!
LET THE FOUR RIDERS
OF THE APOCALYPSE COME FORTH!
LET THY KINGDOM COME!