Summary: In this sermon we see that the reason Christ suffered and died was to become a ransom for many.
The Gospels contain a large body of material of the teaching of Jesus. Jesus taught about all kinds of things such as God, the kingdom, sin, righteousness, and judgment. Scholars and students have spent vast numbers of hours seeking to understand the person and work of Jesus. One of the clearest statements about his work came from the lips of Jesus himself. I would like to draw your attention to Mark 10:45.
Let me read Mark 10:45:
45 “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
In 2004 the movie called The Passion of the Christ was released. It is a gruesome depiction of the hours leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Those who saw the movie probably still have vivid images in their minds of the suffering endured by Jesus.
At the same time as the release of The Passion of the Christ, pastor and author John Piper released a book titled The Passion of Jesus Christ. At the conclusion of his introduction Piper says:
When all is said and done, the most crucial question is: Why? Why did Christ suffer and die? Not why in the sense of cause, but why in the sense of purpose. What did Christ achieve by his passion? Why did he have to suffer so much? What great thing was happening on Calvary for the world?
Piper then says that he has gathered from the New Testament fifty reasons why Christ suffered and died. Indeed, the sub-title of his book is: Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die.
Tonight, let’s look at one of the reasons why Christ suffered and died. Christ suffered and died to become a ransom for many.
I. What is a “Ransom”?
First, what is a “ransom”?
The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary defines “ransom” as “a price paid to release a captive or seized property, or the act of procuring release in this manner.”
Do you remember the incident a year ago with the Maersk Alabama? Four Somali pirates seized the cargo ship Maersk Alabama about 280 southeast of the Somalia port city of Eyl. Sometime after boarding the pirates managed to seize the captain. At about the same time the crew of the ship then managed to seize the ringleader of the pirates, creating a sense of unease for the three remaining Somali pirates. The crew attempted to ransom the pirate they had captured for the captain, but the exchange went awry and after the crew released their captive, the pirates refused to honor the agreement. They fled in one of the ship’s covered lifeboats with nine days of food rations and took the ship’s captain with them. Eventually, of course, you remember that the US Navy killed the pirates and rescued the captain.
So, a ransom is the price paid to release a captive or seized property.
II. Why is a Ransom Necessary?
Second, why is a ransom necessary?
God created Adam without sin. He put him in the Garden of Eden with only commandment: “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).