The classic illustration of redemption is found in the Book of Ruth. The framework of this touching idyll consists of two clauses of ancient Hebrew legislation: the law of Levirate marriage, rendering compulsory the widow’s marriage to her late husband’s next of kin, Deut 25:5-10, and the law of the kinsman redeemer, Lev 25:25-34. Adied by these two enactments, Ruth, the loyal but poverty-stricken stranger, was able to marry into the best family in the district and to become the ancestress of King David and of the Messiah.
By the kinsman-redeemer enactment, if a Hebrew falls into slavery and is forced to sell himself, his family, his estate, all that he sold can be compulsorily redeemed by the next of kin.
It will be noted that the kinsman-redeemer has three qualifications, and both Boaz and Christ had all of them.
First, he must have the right to redeem. A millionnaire could not redeem if he was not next of kin. Christ became man that he might be man’s kinsman and have the right to redeem him.
Second, he must have the ability to redeem. A brother who was penniless could do nothing. “There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin; He only could…”
Third, he must have the will to redeem. A wealthy brother who was a selfish skin-flint might say, “I can, but I won’t.”