When we look at God’s plan for History we are looking at His plan to redeem creation. It is the ultimate purpose of History next to glorifying God.
Redemption is not just limited to mankind but extends to the entire creation. When man fell the entire creation fell. The earth was cursed because of man, and as a result was placed in the same corrupted state that mankind was placed under.
Romans 8:20–22 (ESV) — 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
The ultimate end of redemption then becomes the eternal state when a new heaven and new earth are created which will reflect the intent of God for the first creation which fell into sin. God will be victorious in history when He restores the creation and destroys evil.
The thought of redemption, when looked at in scripture, gives us a totality of that redemption. It can be seen in four verses:
1 Peter 1:18–19 (ESV) — 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
The above verse which is translated “ransomed” tells us that there is first a cost to redemption and that cost cannot be paid by anything which is produced by a corrupted creation such as gold or silver. These metals are part of the cursed ground in Genesis 3 and are not of any value to redemption. This verse as well as Revelation 5:9 tell us what the price must be for redemption to occur.
Revelation 5:9 (ESV) — 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
The redemption price was the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In order for this price to be effective and eternal it had to come from someone who was eternal. The deity of Christ is also intimated in His sacrificial death.
We see also from Galatians 3:13 that this sacrifice was forever. We can look at redemption as going to the market. In Roman times there was a huge market where the people would go daily to purchase what they needed. Part of that market place contained a slave market. If you needed to purchase a slave you would go to the market and pay the price for the slave you wanted and then remove him from the market place to serve you.
Redemption is like this but much more. We are slaves to sin and sold to Satan as his slaves. Christ has paid the price for us and taken us out of the market place so that we may serve Him. Unlike a slave in Rome who could be taken back to the slave market Christ has permanently removed us from our bondage to sin never to return. This is the idea behind Galatians 3:13 where Christ purchased us “out of” or “from” the market place never to return.
Galatians 3:13 (ESV) — 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
Romans 3:24 provides us with the final insight into the redemption provided through Christ. It shows us the thoroughness of that redemption. The world translated gives us the sense of the completeness that is provided by Christ. We are freely justified so that we are justified through and through.
Romans 3:24 (ESV) — 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
The Bible gives us some great illustrations of redemption in history. The book of Ruth reveals what role Christ has played in redemption by assuming His role as the “Kinsman Redeemer”. The law of the kinsman redeemer was established so that a Jewish family would never have to loose their inheritance.
In the Hebrew society only a male could inherit the fathers land. If no male was born then God provided for a way for that land to be redeemed by a relative. In this way the inheritance would remain in the family. In order for one to be a kinsman redeemer he must meet certain requirement. they are as follows.
1. Must be a kinsman. Christ fulfills this role as seen in Hebrews 2:14-15.
2. Must be able to pay the redemption price. Acts 20:28 shows Christ paid the price.
3. Must be willing to redeem the property or person. Luke 22:42 demonstrates that Christ willingly submitted to the will of the Father.
4. He must be qualified to redeem. In Christ’s case He must not be under the same curse as the kinsman. Hebrews 4:15 demonstrates His sinlessness.
In the book of Ruth, Boaz is the kinsman redeemer who redeemed Naomi’s inheritance by paying the price and marrying Ruth to raise a male who would then inherit the redeemed land. The result of this union was a man named Obed who was the father of Jesse who was the father of David of whom Christ ultimately came from.