Monday, May 20, 2019

Christ Our Ransom

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).

We are considering the objective facts of the gospel in our lessons and today we focus our attention specifically on three essential words: ransom, propitiation, and expiation.

The concept of ransom is built upon the idea of losing something or setting free something that is held captive. Jesus paid the ransom to set us free. Some in the early Church suggested that Jesus paid the ransom to Satan, but this is not the case. Satan did not hold us captive; he was only the jailor. The Master who had taken us captive and needed to receive the ransom payment was God. He was the offended party to whom the ransom needed to be paid. Jesus, as the volunteer suffering servant, offered Himself as payment for us.

God’s wrath needed to be placated or appeased. The technical term for this appeasement is propitiation. Many modern theologians are offended at the idea of propitiating the wrath of God, but when we understand the objective fact that God is holy and that God’s anger rightly and righteously burns against our rebellion, then we will not be offended at the idea that God must be propitiated (1 Thessalonians 1:10). On the cross, Jesus suffered the full fury of the pains of hell under the wrath of God and thus placated God’s anger.

In the design of God, Jesus’ sufferings purged our sins away. The technical term for this purging is expiation. Expiation has to do with the act of removing or taking away our guilt by way of paying the penalty for sin to God. Our guilt was put on Jesus and was purged away under the fiery wrath of God.

Jesus took the punishment we deserve. The result is that God has been propitiated or satisfied. He is no longer angry with us. We have been ransomed from the doom that we faced. We have been let out of the prison of judgment, the prison maintained by Satan the accuser and jailor. We have been freed from judgment because God is no longer angry with us. Christ has ransomed us by expiating our sins and thereby propitiating God’s wrath.

Making sure you can explain to a friend the three things discussed today and how they are related. It is extremely important that you understand the objective facts of the gospel.