Friday 1st February
Mark 10:45, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Romans 3:23-26
In today’s passage we shall explore the great price that was paid for us through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Each of the above passages shares a common theme; the ransom/substitution that unworthy people (us) received instead of getting what was rightly due to us. Today’s lesson, understood in its fullness, reveals God’s Father heart for His children and again highlights the servant nature of a Creator God.
The first passage in Mark starts really from verse 35. James and John come to Jesus with a desire to sit with Him at His right hand upon His return to Glory. He then explains that those who desire greatness must be servants of all. His desire for the all the disciples was that they might understand the importance of servant leadership. He concludes with the greatest example, Himself. “For the Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many”. The term ‘ransom’ was commonly known in Jesus’ day. It usually referred to the price one would pay to set a prisoner free. Today this term is commonly used as bargaining rights when innocent people have been held hostage. An agreed price is given to the kidnappers/terrorists to see the hostage set free. Jesus, in describing Himself as a ransom, showed that He really was the perfect example of servant leadership as He came to give His life for many.
The writer of Romans helps us understand this ‘ransom’ theology. Here we learn that all mankind has fallen short of the glory of God (verse 23). Every person who has lived, lives and will live has sinned and will sin. It’s in our nature due to sin entering the world through Adam and Eve. It’s an unfortunate reality. God is holy and we have fallen short of that standard. The only way this ‘sin’ can be dealt with is through the shedding of innocent blood. Just as a parent disciplines a child, so our Heavenly Father and Creator has the right to punish us. So the verdict for mankind is guilty, yet who could pay such a price? Jesus, the Servant King. God became flesh and dwelt among us to pay the price for our sinfulness. How did He do it? With His life and the shedding of His precious blood. Not only did He pay for our sins, but He took our place. He became our propitiation, our atoning sacrifice, our substitute, and our ransom. Jesus took our place, took the punishment that was rightly due to us and in His death, we have life, we are forgiven and our debt has been paid.
Paul, in 1 Timothy 2:5-6 describes Jesus our Mediator between God and man. Not only did Jesus die to take our punishment, He also lives to forever make an intercession on our behalf. A ransom may be a one off payment used as an act of paying a debt for the release of a captive. Yet Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice although was once and for all, was not just one off payment as such, but was to stand forever as an eternal payment for all our sins. Period. That is why He is called a Mediator between God and man. He paid the price for us and now, when we sin and ask for forgiveness, God instead of looking to punish us looks at what Jesus did on the cross. That is grace. That is love. That is a priceless eternal ransom, propitiation and sacrifice. That is my Jesus!!