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Revelation 5:9 by Robert Dean
Series:Revelation (2004)
Duration:44 mins 29 secs

Redemption: Paid in Full. Rev. 5:9


Revelation 5:9 NASB "And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood {men} from every tribe and tongue and people and nation."


Redemption terminology


In the Old Testament there are two key words that are used to talk about redemption. The first is the Hebrew word padah which refers to the payment of a price to free something from some state, such as slavery, or death or destruction. It always emphasises the payment of a price. Whenever we think of the word redemption we need to think of paying a price. It is a financial term at its core. We find this word used several times in the book of Exodus, primarily as it goes back to the exodus event itself. There are two key events in the Old Testament that provide a picture for understanding redemption. The first is the redemption of Israel from slavery in Egypt. It was pictured in the Passover and was rehearsed in the Passover meal which comes over into the Lord's table where the focal point is the completion of that redemptive work of Christ on the cross. The second picture is the picture of the kinsman redeemer, pictured in the book of Ruth. We find the word padah is passages such as Exodus 13:13 NASB "But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem {it,} then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem." In other words, there was a payment price, a recognition that when the firstborn of an animal came it was a gift from God. So a redemption price, a sacrifice, was given in recognition of the fact that God had provided this. [15] "It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem." In a family when the firstborn son came a payment price was taken to the tabernacle in recognition of the fact that God had not only provided the firstborn son but also in memory of the fact of what had happened at the exodus: that the firstborn males were taken unless there was a blood covering on the door. All of this has imagery that relates to the fact that Jesus Christ is referred to as the firstborn, the pre-eminent Son of God.


The second word found in the Old Testament that is related to redemption is the word ga'al (verb); goel (noun). The reason for bring in the noun is that it is significant in relationship to the book of Ruth and the concept of the kinsman redeemer. The verb has the primary meaning of paying a price. The noun emphasizes a kinsman redeemer, and the idea there is often protection. The goel emphasizes the responsibility of blood relatives to provide for and to protect blood relatives. So there is a development of the concept from paying a price to protecting those for whom one is responsible. The first place we see this word used in the Old Testament is in Genesis 48:15, 16 when Jacob is blessing Joseph's sons: NASB "He blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; And may my name live on in them, And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." The emphasis there is not so much on the payment of a price but on the fact that it is the angel of the Lord who protected Jacob through his various travels. The next place the word is used is in Exodus 6:6 NASB "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.'" There we have an emphasis on the paying of a price. It is used as an expansion of the phrase "I will rescue/deliver you from their bondage." The word there "rescue" is a hiphil form of the verb natsah, meaning to snatch away, to deliver from enemies or trouble. How is that rescue done? It is done through the payment of a price. That payment of a price is pictured in the exodus event by taking the lamb that was without spot or blemish and by sacrificing that lamb, and the blood of the lamb was spread on the door posts of the house. It foreshadowed the work of Christ on the cross.


That is the imagery that we get when we come to the New Testament and we hear that Jesus is the one who redeemed us by means of His blood. There are eight different Greek words in the New Testament that are used for redemption and they all come back to this same root idea of the payment of a price. Note that at their root they all have the syllable lu, and this comes from a root Greek verb LUO [luw], meaning to release. So the basic idea here is to release something by the payment of a price.


The first word is ANTILUTRON [antilutron]. This has the idea of substituting money, the payment for the freedom of a slave or a prisoner. Usually this is translated "ransom" and it has the idea of purchasing freedom from slavery. 1 Timothy 2:6 NASB "who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony {given} at the proper time." This is used with the preposition HUPER [u(per] indicating the payment of a price for someone in substitution for someone.


APOLUTROSIS [a)polutrwsij] means deliverance procured by the payment of a ransom, to release a slave upon receipt of a ransom. Used in Romans 3:24; 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7, 14; 4:30.


LUTRON [lutron], the noun, the root, and it has the idea of the payment of a ransom in order to set free, to let someone loose. The verb that is built on LUTRON is LUTROO [lutrow] which means to pay the ransom price. In the middle voice, the way it is used in 1 Peter 1:17-19, it means to redeem.


LUTROSIS [lutrwsij] means redemption, deliverance or freedom. When we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb we are given true freedom. The only basis for true freedom in life starts at the cross.


LUTROTES [lutrwthj] means a redeemer, the deliverer, the one who pays for the freedom of the nation. Acts 7:35 refers to Moses as the redeemer of Israel.


All of these six that we have seen so far are built off the same root word for redemption. The last two that we will look at come off another word based on the noun AGORA [a)gora] meaning the market place, to purchase something or to buy something in the market place. It is used 31 times in the New Testament. Christ paid the price to purchase those who were slaves to sin. 1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23.


EXAGORAZO [e)cagorazw] – ex means out of, so it means to purchase something out from the slave market, to completely, totally liberate a slave. The price is completely and totally paid. This means that nothing can be added to the price.


Pictures from the Old Testament


The first picture we have seen is the picture of the exodus, the picture of redemption. Exodus 6:6; 15:13 emphasize this dimension of the exodus event. "I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments…. In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided {them} to Your holy habitation." By this time it had already been accomplished. God is the one who paid the price and freed the people from their slavery in Egypt. He did this through the sacrifice of the Passover lamb. We see this illustrated in a number of passages in the Old Testament such as Deuteronomy 7:8 NASB "but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt…. [9:26] I prayed to the LORD and said, 'O Lord GOD, do not destroy Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand… [15:15] You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today…. [21:8] Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel... [24:18] But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the LORD your God redeemed you from there."


The picture here for the church age believer is that we are born slaves to sin, dead in trespasses and sins. We only have one option and that is to operate on the basis of our sin nature. Every person can produce good deeds but they have no spiritual value; they have no value as far as God is concerned. But just as God freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt so Jesus Christ has paid the redemption price to free us from slavery to the sin nature.


The second great illustration that comes out of the Old Testament is that of the goel, the kinsman redeemer. This is the idea that if someone, for example, in a marriage where the husband dies and the wife was left without resources, then the brother of the dead husband could come along and take her as his wife and protect her and to pay whatever debts there were. If there was a brother who was unmarried then he would be the kinsman redeemer. The picture of this is that the one who redeems mankind must be a kinsman, a full, true human being. This is the picture that is given from the book of Ruth. So the two elements that we have in the picture of redemption from the Old Testament is first of all the picture of the payment of a price, freeing from slavery of sin; and secondly, that it must be done by a kinsman redeemer. This is exactly what we see in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Five characteristics of the redeemer that apply to Jesus Christ


a)  The redeemer was a blood relative of the one who was to be redeemed. Jesus Christ is our blood relative; He is true humanity.

b)  The redeemer must be willing to redeem. Deuteronomy 25:7-10. Christ voluntarily left heaven to pay the price for our sins, according to Philippians 2:5-8.

c)  The redeemer must be able to redeem. He must be able to pay the redemption price. Only Jesus Christ could pay the price of our redemption; only He was perfect and without sin.

d)  The redeemer, the goel, must be free himself from the calamity from which he must free his kinsman. Jesus Christ, because He was free from sin, could pay the redemption price.

e)  The redeemer must act to pay the redemption price. This is what Jesus Christ did.


In the Old Testament, in Isaiah 40-66 Yahweh is presented as the Redeemer  par excellance: Isaiah 41:14 NASB "Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you," declares the LORD, "and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel." Redemption was paid for completely by God in the Old Testament for Israel, there were no conditions placed upon them other than to accept it. That is the picture of New Testament redemption. God does not redeem wonderful, lovely people. The Jews were rebellious and yet in grace God freed them, knowing full well their failures. The same is true for us.