What Is A Redeemer?
By Eli Stutzman
March 1, 2010
The function of a redeemer is hard to describe without going to the situation a slave would have encountered.
In this age, we are not exposed to the harshness of slavery every day. But if you will, let's imagine being a slave 200 years ago. As a slave, you had no property you could call your own. Slaves were bought and sold as cattle are today. In order to be free, you had to have someone own you and then set you free. It was more than just money; it had to be a person.
Even if you saved all your money and gave the purchase price of a slave, still you could not set yourself free. All your money would have belonged to your owner. Were you the most honest and hard working slave, smiling all the time, still, unless you were set free, you could not do a thing to gain your freedom. All that you produced while in the employ of your master was his.
Imagine then being born into a slave family. You are told there is no other choice for you. All your friends are also slaves. Your master may not be too harsh, just an average slave owner who realizes that a healthy, happy slave will do more work in the long run. He wants you to be content with being a slave. But inside you, something wants to be free. He describes all the risks of being free. Running away is risky, because there was always a bounty offered to anyone who would capture such a slave. Life would be even harder for you afterward.
One day, you hear of a redeemer that buys slaves and sets them free. "How does that work?" you ask. "Slaves have nothing they can call their own, so how can I get him to set me free?" Ah, they say, all you have to do is ask. That seems almost too good to be true.
A slave cannot afford a lawyer or another person of influence, so how can I ever be set free? Now your friend tells you that you have to admit you are a slave, and then get word to him, and he will come. OK, you say, let's do it! But you know your master won't be too happy.
The Bible often uses the analogy of a slave to describe what we were before we were redeemed.
Luke 4:18 says; The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
And in John 8:31: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Notice that He uses the word ‘captives' and ‘bondage.' If you think you are not, or were not, a captive to sin, see what the Bible says about that.
Romans 3; 10: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: and 3;23; For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Clearly we are in trouble if we think we don't need to be set free.
What shall we do, then, to solve this dilemma? The only way out is to have someone redeem us from our captivity.
The story of the children of Israel being set free from Egypt in one night gives a picture of how we, too, have to be set free by one more powerful than the slave owner; in this case, Pharaoh.
First, I have to realize fully the hopeless situation I am in. Then I have to ask the Redeemer (Jesus Christ) to apply the price of freedom. But will he do it? That is where many of us stumble. And that is where we need to build faith. In order to know the answer, we need to study scriptures that reveal what Jesus did when approached for help.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Also see Matthew 12; 15 and Luke 6; 19 where sick people came to Jesus and "He healed them all."
There are many, many other passages that are too numerous to print here that relate to His willingness to redeem. You can imagine the joy a slave would feel upon being freed! That's why believers rejoice when they find they are completely redeemed!
Are you free yet?
« Back to Articles