Why did our Savior come to earth? Jesus said, “…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 NAS95) Jesus came to offer His life as a ransom. This was the heart of His mission. What does it mean?
A ransom is the price paid to emancipate a slave. When this price was paid, a slave was said to be “redeemed.” You and I were enslaved to sin. As Jesus said, “…Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” (John 8:34 NAS95) In order for us to be set free from this bondage, a price had to be paid. Because God is holy and just, He cannot and will not simply ignore sin. Sin must be punished. For us to escape the punishment due and to be set free, Jesus Christ had to pay our ransom.
And Jesus paid an awful price to purchase our freedom. He paid with His own life. God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, lovingly gave His life to redeem us from sin. As Peter writes, “If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:17-19 NAS95) Jesus, the precious, spotless lamb of God paid for our souls with His own blood. He gave His life a ransom for many.
We were ransomed at unfathomable cost. That Jesus, God in the flesh, would suffer and bleed and die for us is breathtaking. What is your reaction to all of this? What does it stir up in you? Thankfulness? Yes. Joy? Certainly. But according to the verse above, the ransom that was paid should stir up fear in us. It should elicit great awe for God and for Christ. That fear should cause us to stay away from sin, realizing the price paid. It should cause us to carefully consider the words we say, the things we pursue, and the way we treat one another.
Jesus paid it all! And we owe our all to Him! Let us thank God today for the precious blood of Jesus.