Every Day Light
The redemption ceremony
"— for the redemption — to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other." (v. 7)
For reading & meditation:
The ceremony through which a man passed when he was unwilling or unable to redeem something, and thus lost his legal claim, was both colorful and dramatic, and could be unpleasant. A widow, for example, who faced a hostile kinsman who did not want to fulfil his obligations under the law, would sometimes spit in his face and say: "This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother's family line" (Deut. 25:9). The law required that the man who was transferring his legal right should take off his shoe and hand it to the other person as an act of completion, and that such a transaction should take place in the full view of the public. Justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. How reminiscent this is of the work of Christ on the Cross. Paul says: "This thing was not done in a corner" (Acts 26:26, KJV). He meant that our Lord was not put to death in one of the back streets of Jerusalem, away from the eyes of the multitudes, but was crucified on a hill for all to see. There was a divine purpose behind this. If Christ had died at the hand of a footpad in some quiet corner then His death would have exposed the evil of only one man - a criminal type of individual. The fact that Christ was officially put to death - the "best" people of the nation sought it - meant that their condemnation of Him was representative of the wishes of the whole human race. In the uplifted Cross we have a revelation of the real character of humanity.
Father, I see that the Cross exposes not just the sins of a few but the sins of all humanity. This means my sins are there also. But men did not take Your life away from You; You laid it down of Yourself. I am so grateful for this saving truth. Amen.
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