The message of redemption is close to my heart. It is, after all, how I came to Christ. As a pastor, I have a deeper appreciation for the simplicity of this message. Recently, I led a group of teenagers to Christ. This brought back fond memories of my own conversion. What struck me, however, was how little people know about God’s plan for redemption. To remedy this, I decided to add my voice to the existing body of knowledge. I started by answering a simple question, “How many times is redemption mentioned in the Bible?”
There isn’t a clear answer for this since the number of times “redemption” appears depends on the translation. For instance, it appears 20 times in the KJV, 30 in NKJV, 24 in the NIV, and 31 in the ESV. Redemption points to buying back property or paying ransom to secure the freedom of a prisoner or slave. It’s the perfect illustration for salvation.
Join me in exploring this fascinating topic. I’ll delve into the meaning and significance of redemption. I’ll also include the types of the plan of redemption. I hope this article broadens your understanding of God’s plan for redemption.
The Bible teaches that we all need redemption because of our sins (Romans 3:23). It also teaches that redemption is not a one-time thing. Instead, it’s God’s plan set in motion after the first sin.
The word “redemption” first appears in Exodus 6:6. God sends Moses to declare His plan of salvation for the Israelites. He accomplished their redemption through great miracles and the blood of the Passover lamb.
After their redemption from slavery, God gave Israel the law. Here, He included clauses for the redemption of the firstborn, where the Israelites offered lambs to “buy back” the firstborn children and donkeys.
Furthermore, God provided a way for the Israelites to maintain ownership of the family land. He allowed a family member to redeem land sold or confiscated because of debt by another member. Doing this ensured that the land remained in the family, securing future generations.
Finally, God sent Jesus as the ransom for our sins (Romans 3:25). He redeemed us through His blood shed on the cross. Jesus lived a perfect life, which qualified him as the substitute to secure our salvation.
What is the meaning of redemption according to the Bible?
Redemption in the Bible has two meanings: to buy back and to ransom someone. We see these meanings in the Hebrew and Greek languages.
In Hebrew, several words mean “redemption.” Here are a few:
- Geullah means to “buy back,” and it’s used in Leviticus 25:48.
- Kopher, which means “Pitch” or “ransom,” was used in Genesis 6:14.
- Peduth means “Ransom,” and it’s used in Psalm 111:9.
The Old Testament emphasizes buying back. It’s derived from the requirements of the law given at Sinai. It’s best viewed in light of a land transaction. We see this in Jeremiah 32:7. As a message of hope, God commanded Jeremiah to buy a piece of land from his uncle. In this instance, Jeremiah acts as the Kinsman redeemer who buys land from a relative so it remains within the family. Jesus is our Kinsman redeemer. He had to become like us and paid the price to purchase our salvation.
In Greek, the words used point to “ransom.” They are Antilutron and Apolutrosis. These words create the image of a person paying the ransom to secure the release of a prisoner or slave (1 Timothy 2:6).
Instances of redemption in the Bible
As mentioned, redemption is mentioned over 20 times. Here are ten to get you started on your study of this fascinating topic:
- Leviticus 25:23 teaches about redeeming property.
- Numbers 3:46 teaches about the redemption of the firstborn.
- Ruth 4:6 narrates the story of Ruth’s redemption by Boaz.
- Psalm 49:8 teaches that our redemption is costly.
- Exodus 6:6 declares God’s redemptive plan for Israel.
- Jeremiah 32:7 narrates the story of Jeremiah buying land from his uncle Hanamel.
- Romans 3:24 teaches that we are justified by grace because of the redemptive work of Christ.
- Romans 8:23 encourages us as we await the redemption of our bodies.
- Hebrews 9:15 teaches that Jesus is our mediator who redeemed us by the blood.
- Ephesians 4:30 says that the Holy Spirit is the seal of our redemption.
Types of the Plan of Redemption according to the Bible
Biblical types are prophetic symbols in the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the New Testament. The Bible points to events in the Old Testament that typify God’s plan for redemption.
According to Hebrews 9:8-9, the Tabernacle symbolized what was to come. It pointed to the sacrifice of Jesus that gave us access to God. Jesus, our great high priest, entered the most holy place by His blood. This was unlike the high priest who had to offer a sacrifice for his own sin before entering the holy of holies. This emphasizes that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice that restored us to God.
1 Corinthians 5:7 teaches that Jesus was the Passover lamb sacrificed for our sins. Like the Passover lamb, Jesus was a male (Luke 3:23) who was examined thoroughly (1 Peter 2:22). He was sacrificed for our sin (1 Corinthians 15:3); none of his bones were broken (John 19:36). Jesus was the fulfilment of God’s plan for our salvation since he was the perfect substitute for our sin (Romans 3:25).
The sacrifices of the Old Testament pointed to Jesus’ death on the cross. However, these sacrifices were insufficient to secure our redemption. Like the sacrifices in the Old Testament, Jesus was the substitute for our sins. He took on himself the penalty for sin so we can have peace with God (Romans 5:1). However, unlike the sacrifices, Jesus’ blood is sufficient; there is no need for any other (Hebrews 7:27).
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.