“‘The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 59:20, NLT).
Today most of us think of coupons when we think of redemption. You go to the store, turn in a coupon and receive a discount or free item. But when Israel was in captivity, redemption meant much more—being bought back from slavery. For them, redemption was their ticket out from under a strict government and harsh living conditions. It’s hard to relate, especially for those of us in western countries, but even so, many find themselves slaves to other things, including addictions, health, financial or family problems.
When Isaiah predicted the arrival of a Redeemer, people got excited. They remembered how he had led them out of Egypt with the pillar of cloud by day and the fire by night so they knew they could trust him to deliver them again, finally and for good. Many expected the Redeemer to come with a huge army to defeat the Roman government, but instead, he was born in a barn and slept in a feed trough. By living a perfect life from conception to adulthood, Jesus redeemed all of human life and all of humanity, buying us back from slavery to sin and death and restoring a right relationship with our Creator.