Summary: A look at the correct understanding of "ransom" (it's not an extortion) and four key ideas that help us understand it.
PAYING "RANSOM"? Does this mean that God gave into extortion?
- A ransom is a price paid for someone’s freedom.
- It’s an easy idea to get off-track on if you don’t watch it.
- How so? Sometimes a ransom is basically extortion. Someone kidnaps someone and holds them for ransom. It’s an intrinsically unjust thing.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT JESUS WAS A "RANSOM" FOR US? Jesus was a substitutionary ransom – that means paying a price by putting yourself in that person’s place.
- One way to put it: it’s better to say that Jesus came “to be the ransom” than that He came “to pay the ransom.”
- He took our place.
- An important element of this puzzle is that God cannot just wink at our sin and pretend that it’s not there.
- He is righteous and just. Sin is morally wrong. It’s not something that can merely be excused with a wave of the hand.
- The penalty for the sin must be paid.
PIECES OF THAT IDEA:
1. He was a sacrifice in our place.
2. He became cursed for us.
3. He bore our sin.
4. He became sin for us.
WHY WAS JESUS THE ONLY ONE TO BE THE RANSOM? His love led Him to take our place; His purity allowed Him to not be held by death.
- If I died in my sin, I would be held by the just penalty of my sins. I would be held by death (physical and spiritual).
- If Jesus died for my sin, the price is paid for the wrong I’ve done, but because Jesus is without sin Himself then death has no authority to hold Him. Thus He was able to rise from the death.
- The just penalty of sin was death. Death would have held us. Jesus sacrificially paid the penalty but had the power to overcome death.