It's rare that I get a chance to re-do a sermon. Tonight I had the chance to cover Ruth 4 again, and I was glad for it, as I didn't feel I did a tremendous job on it the first time. Anyway, here are 5 ways I think the book of Ruth points to Christ.
1. Boaz is a worthy man (2:1), and his godly and gracious character points to the God-revealing and gracious character of Jesus. As a godly believer Boaz provides an example to follow, as he points to Christ.
2. Boaz is a responsible man. He is not responsible for the tragedy of Naomi and Ruth's bereavement, but in his graciousness he steps in to bless and do good, and even to Redeem. In this, he takes responsibility for other people's problems and mess. Likewise, God is not the cause of our problems, our sin and its effects, nonetheless in Jesus he steps in and deals with it by his Redemption.
3. Ruth contributes nothing to her redemption. In chapter 3 she asks Boaz to redeem her, much as we cry out to God for salvation, though this too is a work of the Spirit in us. The whole process of redemption is the initiative and action of Boaz. Similarly, we contribute nothing to our salvation, Jesus takes the initiative and redeems us.
4. Ruth is not present at the moment of her redemption. Boaz conducts and concludes the legal aspect of the redeemer-marriage in chapter 4 while Ruth is at home, with Naomi, waiting to find out. There is a real, external, objective reality to the redemption. Similarly, the atoning death of Jesus on the cross occurs between the Father and the Son through the Spirit, before we were born, before the idea of our existence was even posited as a possibility except by God. Our sin was dealt with there, then, apart from us. It is the work of the Spirit that unites us to Christ and effectually involves us in the Redemptive death of Christ.
5. There is a wedding to come. In Ruth, the wedding seems to happen in 4:13, the celebration and consumation of the declarative act of Boaz. Both OT and NT speak of God's people as a bride and God, Jesus as the groom. Revelation 19:6-9 speaks of the wedding of the Lamb, a great celebratory feast where we will be reunited with Jesus at his return and live in intimate communion with Christ forever.