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RANSOM – THE EXPRESSION OF LOVE


Let us consider that the life of Jesus was valued as the life of all sinful and mortal people because God loved them to the same extent. God predetermined Jesus’ value by giving all men into the slavery of death by Adam, even though he loved them, which means that their death carried hope in itself. That is why, before any of them was born by Adam, all humans were already enslaved to death so that after their death one of them would be freed from the slavery to death. Next, the life of that one man freed from the bondage of death was worth all the people who remained in that bondage.

Although such a man could carry the value of the life of all these people, he could have the value of atonement only if he was sentenced to death for a sin for which he was not guilty and thus died as a righteous man who automatically took over all people, their sin, suffering and sickness, motivated by compassion that led him to live and die for them. Thus, an unjust punishment on the part of the people was to fall on Jesus even though he was not personally guilty, thus nullifying their sentence that they got from Adam, for which they were not personally guilty.

Just as people did not deserve to die for one man’s transgression, so they did not deserve to live because of one man’s righteousness. In fact, these two men are set up by God as the foundations of humanity and as the holders of responsibility for all people. Because of the condemnation of one man, men were declared offenders over whom death reigned, and due to the justification of one man they were declared righteous so that they could live.

“ Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ” (Romans 5:18-21)

Adam was supposed to be the mediator of life. however, he became

  • the mediator of death that people did not deserve (God’s punishment)

That is why Jesus (the second Adam) was to become

  • the mediator of life that people cannot deserve (God’s gift)

Adam sold his children into the slavery of death at the cost of his life. Hence, their death would have the reciprocal value of his life. They all count as one Adam. With the death of one, they all died. This implies that their death, when given the value of sacrifice, could be used for the life of one because they all represent one Adam.

ADAM ~ 〈the world〉 ~ JESUS

The world rose above Adam’s mortal sin by the righteous people and gained the value that Adam lost. God obviously could have used their common death to give life to only one of them.

Through him, as a second Adam, God could have brought into existence some other people born through him by a woman. But that would mean eternal death for Adam’s children. But we saw that their death, to which they were subjected, carried hope for them. Therefore, the second Adam, with the value of the life he received by their death, should not have lived and created other people by birth as the first Adam. Instead, by his death he was supposed to redeem Adam’s existing children and appropriate them to himself and to God so thew would be freed from the bondage of death.

  • The first Adam sacrificed other humans for himself
  • Second Adam sacrificed himself for other humans

In order to sacrifice himself for others, Jesus needed to have a fine motivation, which was the love that God had shown to him. We also respond in the same way to such love as Paul explained:

“Namely, the love of Christ drives us, because we have concluded this: one man died for all, and so all died; he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was resurrected.” (2 Cor. 5:14,15)

Just as the love of Christ drives us all because of the ransom with which we were redeemed from death, so Jesus showed love to all men because it was motivated by God’s act of love through the ransom by which he was first one to be redeemed from death, because only in this way could he receive eternal life in himself and never die. Knowing everything that was involved in his life, Jesus could eventually say to God as the psalmist:

“In your hand I commit my spirit. You have redeemed me, Jehovah, the God of truth.” (Psalm 31:5)

Since he was redeemed from death at his baptism, he knew that his sacrificial death was not eternal. Hence, he delivered his spirit into God’s hands with the hope of the resurrection of life and the glory of eternal life he had in God before the foundation of the world (Luke 23:46). He knew that his life had the value of all the people for whom he received ‘eternal life in himself’. Thus he could carry a ransom value that could cover for the whole world. He carried the destiny of the whole world on his shoulders because he was authorised by God to have “life in himself” that he would mediate to others. Consequently, Jesus said:

“Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father (who redeemed me and gave me life), so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. (because God will redeem him through me and give him life)” (John 6:57)

From that moment of baptism, when God redeemed him from death and gave him life, Jesus was placed in a position of savior with whom no other human being could be measured, for whom the principle applies:

“Trust not in princes, in a man from whom there is no salvation! If a spirit comes out of him, he returns to his land and all his thoughts perish.” (Psalm 146:3,4)

God did so much for Jesus because only Jesus’ death as a righteous man, who fulfilled the requirements of the Law, could redeem people from the condition in which they suffered the consequences of Adam’s sin and lead them to a acceptable position before God and gain access to eternal life by Jesus.

His obedience to God’s righteous standards made his life and his blood perfect and precious. As such, he was fully in tune with the image of Adam at the moment when he was created by God. Hence God, who redeemed him, had the value of Jesus’ dedicated life at his disposal. Jesus was fully aware of this. So he came to be baptised in order that justice might be fulfilled in him, because by that justice he was redeemed from death. His ‘sacrifice’ had no substitute, because God did not intend to redeem him with the substitute blood of the lamb. At one point, he even asked for that sacrificial sacrifice, as God had given it for Isaac, to avoid suffering martyrdom. Nevertheless, he was still willing to drink that ‘cup’ to the bottom. Jesus knew that another part of justice would thus be fulfilled, in order that by his death, the ransom of the world from the slavery of death would be made possible. He had to die a sacrificial death because only in this way could he defeat death. Therefore, the worth of his life through such a death could have covered for all sinful people who were under condemnation. Thus, by means of Jesus, who was rewarded with eternal life because of his perfect obedience to the Law, God opened the way of life to all those who had unhindered access to God, the source of life, through the sacrifice of Jesus.

Since he was under the covenant by which he received the pledge of eternal life and kept it until the end, then his blood contained a life not nullified by sin, as was in the case of Adam. Hence, his blood had the value of eternal life with which he was resurrected. He walked the path toward eternal life, but he did not give that life to himself, nor could he personally have given it to others. He was made perfect by God in this regard, and was resurrected into eternal (immortal) life. God appointed Him as the mediator so that all others would receive life through Him and not from Him. The ransom was merely to abolish the penalty of sin. Consequently, life is a gift from God through Jesus Christ. Jesus thus had the right to say to God of himself as a prominent ‘son of man’:

”just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him.” (John 17:2)

Jesus’ death redeemed us from the bondage of death as punishment, but not from the natural law of death so that the righteous continue to die as the unjust do. The law of death is inherently acceptable in the material world and under that law were both Adam and Jesus. Although we are freed from the slavery of death as punishment, we still live under the law of death, but we have unhindered access to eternal life by the holy spirit as Jesus had, so death cannot separate us from God – the source of life. All this was accomplished by the literal sacrifice of a consecrated man who was appointed redeemer. In order for God to make him so, he had to, according to the Covenant regulations

  • redeem him from death
  • give him “life in himself”
  • make him perfect

By means of Jesus, God has accomplished the first two things in us as well. We are still waiting for eternal life to be confirmed in us, to we would be made perfect.

Jesus is therefore our agent and mediator of life. It is now a legal framework in which we can hope for eternal life because we are redeemed from sin and the punishment that hung over our lives. This is a happy ending to the story about our world which experienced its fall by the first Adam and consequently rose by the Second Adam.

Note: Reading this article probably gave you a fresh and deeper meaning to everything you read in the Bible. It might be a good idea to re-read it because you now have new insights that will thus be easier to understand. Since you know in advance what is being said here, you will be able to more easily relate to and make connections with other biblical facts and paragraphs that further illustrate God’s plan of salvation.

Danijel Polanec