October 14, 2021
. . . The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).
The word translated ‘ransom’ means the price paid to set a slave free. It is the purchase money for releasing a slave from servitude. There is the notion of exchange in the use of this word. Jesus gave His own life as the price of freedom for the slaves of sin.
In war, when prisoners are taken by an enemy, the money demanded for their release is called a ransom. Anything that releases a person from a state of punishment, or suffering, or sin, is called a ransom. We are, by nature, sinners, slaves to sin, sold under sin. Because of that, we are under condemnation. Jesus said (John 3:18), He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
We cannot pay off our sin debt. That’s what’s so damning about any religion that says we must work our way to heaven, we can lessen the sin debt through penance, indulgences, religious ceremonies, etc. If we are enslaved to sin, how can we pay the debt of our sin? Impossible. We must be ransomed from sin if we are to be free from its penalty.
To whom was the ransom price paid? Certainly not to Satan. Jesus owed Satan nothing. We owe Satan nothing. Satan was the one who got us into this mess in the first place. No. The ransom that set us free from sin was paid by Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and it was paid to God the Father. Sin is rebellion against God, independence from God, disobedience toward God. The price for sin is death. In Ezekiel 18:4 the Lord said, Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die. The Apostle Paul wrote (Romans 6:23), For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left the crimson stain - He washed it white as snow” (Elvina M. Hall, 1865).
The reasons why such a ransom was necessary are: (1) God declared that the sinner shall die; that He would punish all sin [Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23], (2) All people have sinned, and, if justice was to take its regular course, all must be punished with death [Romans 3:23; 6:23], (3) Man cannot atone for his own sins [Romans 5:6,8], and (4) No man is holy or righteous enough to atone for his own sin [Isaiah 64:5-7; Romans 3:10-20]. God was pleased, therefore, to appoint His only begotten Son to make such a ransom (John 3:16-17).
“Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul; thank You, Lord, for making me whole. Thank You, Lord, for giving to me Thy great salvation so rich and free.”