We read of restitution several times in the Word of God. Exodus, chapter 22 gives us much instruction about restitution under the Law. Let’s look at one of them. Exodus 22:5 says, “If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.” The concept is quite clear in this case. If a man allows his beast, which could be something like a cow, a goat, or an ox, to graze in another man’s field, he must repay that man for what his beast ate. In some cases, such as stealing, a person was required to pay back more than he stole, such as we read in Exodus 22:7, “If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.” Sometimes the restitution was even greater. We read in Proverbs 6:30-31, “Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.”

The Hebrew word for ‘restitution’ is translated many different ways in the Bible. In Exodus 21:34, it is translated ‘make it good’. In Exodus 21:36, it is translated ‘pay’. It is also translated as ‘restore’, ‘make amends’, ‘recompense’, ‘repay’, and ‘reward’ as just a few examples.

Using a very similar word, we read prophetically of the Lord Jesus in Psalm 69:4, “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.” What an amazing statement! The One who loves with a pure and never ending love was hated by so many people…and for no reason! The Lord Jesus applied this verse to Himself in John 15:25 where He said, “But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” It was in the face of this hatred and rejection that the Lord made restitution, even though He had not taken away, or stolen anything.

Just what did the Lord restore, or make restitution for, that He did not take away? In His death on Calvary, the Lord restored man back to God. Because of sin, we do not have life, or peace, or strength, or joy, or fellowship with the Lord. The Lord Jesus gave Himself to restore us, bringing us into an intimate relationship with the Father when He took our sins upon Himself and paid our sin debt. He had no debt of sin. The Lord Jesus never sinned, yet 1 Peter 2:24 tells us that Christ, “…bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” My dear friend, have you availed yourself of this act of restoration? We have this loving plea in 2 Corinthians 5:20-21, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Be reconciled to God. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior so that you might have your debt paid and experience the restitution to God through the sacrificial death of His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. (159.8)