On the 32nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me a savior fit to redeem even me (Ruth 4-8-9).
I grew up in the ’70s, a time glamorized for its street life, where pimping seemed easy, prostitution a girl’s choice and pushing dope was just another way to make some money. Maybe this doesn’t sound different than any other recent era, but the ’70s are home to personal memories of the corner house of Rudy the Pimp and his parties, people hanging on porches with loud talk and music, smoking and probably some drinking, but I never got close enough to see. Rumors reigned of Rudy shedding blood and this was when Detroit got the infamous title of “murder capital of the world.” It’s when little girls and boys, at least on my block, tried to make strong bonds by shedding some blood of their own, theirs, and mixing it with each other. Blood brothers and sisters they became, requiring each to come to the others’ defense, personal saviors of sorts. Having a blood sibling made us feel safe, knowing someone more than a friend would help take care of you. I wonder if this is how Ruth felt when she met Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer.
Many of you know Ruth’s story. She was a Moabite, an outsider married to Naomi’s Israelite son. Their husbands died, but Ruth decided not to go back to Moab but to remain with Naomi. She said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” The Israelite law was that the nearest blood relative, or kinsman, was supposed to marry a widow, redeeming her deceased husband’s blood line by giving the deceased’s name to any future children. Naomi and Ruth’s nearest kinsman couldn’t marry Ruth because his inheritance would be in jeopardy so he deferred to Boaz, Ruth’s next to near kinsman, who adored Ruth and purchased her and Naomi’s land so he could marry Ruth, be her kinsman-redeemer.
Boaz is a beautiful type of Jesus Christ, looking lovingly upon an outsider and available, willing, and able to pay and actually paying the price of redemption. Jesus Christ is our kinsman-redeemer because he shed his blood for us, the price required to purchase back outsiders to God because of the fall of man. He willingly made himself available by leaving the comforts of heaven and coming to this gritty earth. He was the perfect savior for us because he was free from sin, the required specification for the sacrificial vessel. Those of us who confess and believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and receive Him as Lord and Savior of our lives receive His blood, redeeming us and bringing us into relationship with God. I praise God that Jesus let His blood flow and now it flows through me, through us who believe in its power, a power incomparable to what we kids thought Rudy had and what we thought we had with each other.
What types of “blood substitutes” have you had that you looked to save you? How did those sacrifices fail in comparison to the blood of Jesus Christ? I look forward to you commenting here on the blog.
Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith