Part 2 What is Redemption?
“Redemption is deliverance from the power of an alien dominion and the enjoyment of the resulting freedom. It involves the idea of restoration to one who possesses a more fundamental right or interest. The best example of redemption in the Old Testament was the deliverance of the children of Israel from bondage, from the dominion of the alien power in Egypt.”1
Abraham parted with many souls from his Father’s city-state of Haran. Moses was born a slave, but adopted at three months of age to be heir to the house of Pharaoh. Jesus was adopted by Joseph while in the womb of Joseph's betrothed and was born king of God’s Kingdom. Like the Israelites in the bondage of Egypt, the people of Judea again needed redemption, but a more everlasting one. It was this cause that brought Jesus into the world of Rome.
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. John 1:15
To many, John the Baptist was the high priest and prophet of God. Jesus was his holy cousin which John had designated to be his successor.2 Later, when John was in prison, he needed assurance that Jesus was also the One to be the King. As the anointed King and High Priest, he would have the power and authority of Moses and, with those two offices, He could take the Kingdom away and appoint it to another, as He said He was going to do.
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. John 18:37
The people’s bondage was the result of looking to the Fathers of Rome and was based in their desire to decide for themselves what was good and what was evil, to make law and to covet. They had set up their own form of government, elected men to exercise authority over their neighbor and be their benefactor. Now trapped in bondage, they needed a king who would do what Rehoboam would not do. They needed a king who would forgive their sloth and greed. They needed a king who would set them free.
Judea remained the remnant of God’s Kingdom and Jesus was its King. He was the King who came to serve and to set the captives free so that they could walk in God’s ways. He was setting them free from the apostate kings and priests of God’s once godly kingdom. As the righteous king and high priest of Judea and, therefore, of Israel, he took the Kingdom from usurpers and appointed it to His faithful disciples.
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Matthew 21:43
The people no longer lived in a godly republic, free from the treaties of their rulers. By covetous participation, they had become enfranchised citizens. The government of Judea could now make treaties, covenants, and alliances for the people with the gentiles. This was legal because the people were now bond as human resources through their application and acceptance of the entitlements of the king’s table. The people came under tribute.3 Both king and people had sinned against the words of Moses and God. It was time to repent.
Jesus was setting them free in spirit and truth. He would not appeal to the world of Rome nor apply for their protection. He had come to teach us about freedom under the precepts of His Kingdom of God and to set us free indeed.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.... If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.4 John 8:32-36
Allegiance to Christ made you free indeed, but you had to repent and change your ways. You had to live by faith in Him and the Father who sent Him. You had to apply to your Father in the Kingdom of Heaven and stop coveting your neighbor's goods and ruling over your neighbor in the democratic kingdoms of the gentiles. The people had to learn to come together in voluntary love and charity, seeking the ways of the kingdom of God.
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Colossians 2:18-19
1Zondervan’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.
2John 3:30 He must increase, but I [must] decrease.
3Tribute is an excise tax on the property and labor of the people. See Employ vs. Enslave in the “Covenants of the gods” for a more complete explanation
4ontos 1) truly, in reality, in point of fact, .. 2) that which is truly etc., that which is indeed