Friday, September 24, 2010

Like a Brother

“For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.  For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers…” Hebrews 2:10-11.
Under the provision of Hebrew law, the next of kin was expected to restore the loss of a family member.  Boaz was kin to Ruth’s husband Chilion, however, he was not the next of kin“Naomi also said to her, ‘The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers’,” Ruth 2:20.  There was another individual, a closer relation, obligated to take up Ruth’s cause; specifically her cause to bear children in her deceased husband’s name.  Boaz said to Ruth, “Yet there is another redeemer nearer than I” Ruth 3:12.  For the sake of the story and its restorative fullness, also keep in mind, that Naomi is now childless as well and must lean heavily upon the kindness of her “adopted daughter” - she has no natural sons or daughters….
Brotherhood, sisterhood, adoption… .all of these words call to mind a choice; a choice to be unto someone else what one is not naturally obligated to be.  Purpose burned in the heart of Boaz.  He was not naturally obligated to take up Ruth’s cause.  And yet he will take it up with enthusiasm.
Christ was not naturally obligated to us.  We were alienated from His Life, His nurture, His wisdom, His ways, His peace… .we resembled him not the least.  “And you who were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death…” Colossians 1:21-22.  Not only was He a foreigner to us, but we were incredibly foreign to Him.  Christ had no obligation to serve us in our alienation… .to reconcile us as sisters and brothers… .to bestow on us the spirit of adoption.
Neither was Boaz obligated to a Moabite, a foreigner, a stranger.  Yet Christ and Boaz purposefully sought the hand of foreigners that they might be redeemed from their alienation and losses.  Jesus Christ has become our closest kin so that He might serve as our redeemer and restore the pieces and places ravaged by sins work in a foreign land. “…The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” Matthew 20:28.  Selah.

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