Who Gave Himself A “Ransom” For All
What Is The “Ransom”?
How Does The Old Testament Show The “Ransom”?
Who Needs To Be “Ransomed”?
Can Anyone Be The “Ransom”?
What Does The “Ransom” Accomplish?
When Will This Occur?
Who Paid The “Ransom” Price?
What Requirements Had To Be Met For Jesus To Die For Everyone?
Close Your Eyes
It is estimated that about one hundred and one hundred forty-three billions of human beings have lived on the earth in the six thousand years since Adam’s creation. Of these, the very broadest estimate that could be made with reason would be that less than one billion were saints of God. This broad estimate would leave the immense aggregate of one hundred and forty-two billions (142,000,000,000) who went down into death without faith and hope in the only name given under heaven or among men whereby we must be saved. Indeed, the vast majority of these never knew or heard of Jesus and could not believe in him of whom they had not heard.
What, we ask, has become of this vast multitude, of which figures give a wholly inadequate idea? What is, and is to be, their condition? Did God make no provision for these, whose condition and circumstances He must have foreseen? Or did He, from the foundation of the world, make a wretched and merciless provision for their hopeless, eternal torment, as many of his children claim? Or has He yet in store for them, in the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of His plan, an opportunity for all to come to the knowledge of that only name, and, by becoming obedient to the conditions, to enjoy everlasting life?
To these questions, which every thinking Christian asks himself, and yearns to see answered truthfully, and in harmony with the character of God, comes a variety of answers.
What Is The “Ransom”?
We read in 1 Timothy 2:5, 6: “The man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
What is the “RANSOM”? The Greek word for “Ransom” is antilutron – defined in Young’s concordance as “a corresponding price.” The Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus died as a perfect man, providing a “corresponding price” for Adam. He died a substitute for, or in place of, Adam. All who are in Adam, therefore, “Ransomed”, released from the condemnation of death. It stands to reason that because Adam forfeited everlasting life (through disobedience), then Christ’s “Ransom” sacrifice can only restore to Adam and all men what he lost before he sinned. Adam was promised eternal life as a flesh-and-blood human on earth if he obeyed God, but failing in this, he died. Christ’s “Ransom” sacrifice can only bring Adam, and all in him, another opportunity to attain everlasting life as humans.
Mankind, who had been expelled from Eden, will return to an Edenic Paradise on earth (Acts 3:20). We have all that is required-the perfect man Christ Jesus as our Savior and tremendous results from two phases of salvation-the Church now, and the world of mankind in Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Therefore, all men will have benefited from Christ’s sacrifice. That is as it should be.
How Does The Old Testament Show The “Ransom”?
Abraham has been styled the “Father of the Faithful.” His entire life history, as sketched in the Bible, was a life of faith, a life of trust in God, reliance upon the Divine promises. But the final test was terribly severe and marked the tested one as very high, according to any and every standard—Divine and human. Evidently Abraham’s faith grew stronger and stronger as the years of his acquaintance with God multiplied. Only a person very intimately acquainted with the Almighty, very sympathetic and trustful, could possibly have endured such a test.
This test came through the Divine command that Abraham should take his son, his only son (Isaac) in whom was centered the promises and should offer him (Isaac—who was at least 20 years old or more at the time) a sacrifice to God on Mount Moriah. To appreciate the situation, we must remember that Abraham at this time was at least 125 years old, and that Isaac (not Ishmael) was the son whom the Lord had indicated would be the channel for all the blessings promised. –Genesis 21:1,2
To one of Abraham’s character, the Divine command meant prompt obedience. Without delay he started. “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.” Forthwith he made ready for the journey, accompanied part of the way by his servants. Then leaving them, Abraham and Isaac journeyed to the top of Mt. Moriah, which long centuries afterward, in the time of Solomon, was the site of the Temple. The very rock upon which Isaac is supposed to have been bound, became the very location for the Brazen Altar.
Abraham, accompanied by his loyal son, the heir of the promises, and well acquainted with them, came to this spot. There the wood was placed; and then the father, with faltering lips, but determined heart, told his son of the Divine command. There he offered up his son, even though the knife did not strike the fatal blow. The offering was complete in the sight of Heaven, and the hand was stayed opportunely and, as the Apostle explains, “Abraham received his son from the dead, in a figure.”—Hebrews 11:19
THE ANTITYPE (SOMETHING REPRESENTED BY A SYMBOL) OF ALL THIS
Through previous studies, we have seen that Abraham serves as a type of the Almighty, and that Isaac serves as a type of The Christ—Head and Body. Here then we have the antitype. The Heavenly Father freely offered up His beloved Son on our behalf, for the sins of the whole world. “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” “God gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have everlasting life”—that in him all the families of the earth might be blessed.
God’s great sacrifice of His Son did not mean His eternal death—His destruction. It meant merely that Christ should die to earthly interests, hopes, aims and ambitions, but should be begotten by the Holy Spirit to new hopes, to new aims, to new ambitions and to new conditions—beyond the veil.
So, God left not His Son in death when He freely offered Him up for us all, nor did He leave him in the human condition of sacrifice. He raised our Lord from the dead, on the third day, to the glory that he had with the Father before the world was—yes, with and to an added glory, “far above angels, principalities and powers and every name. (Ephesians 1:21)” Here we have the antitype of Abraham’s offering up Isaac.
THE RAM IN THE THICKET
When God through the angel stayed the hand of Abraham from accomplishing the sacrifice of his son’s life, a ram caught in the thicket was provided as a sacrifice instead. Thus a ram in sacrifice became a symbol of the Seed of Abraham, and an indication of a part of the process by which reconciliation of Divine Justice will be made on behalf of all the families of the earth.
We are to remember that this same thought was kept up in God’s subsequent dealings with Israel. The Passover Lamb was slain, is typically, “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Amongst the many lessons which Christians may learn from the testing of Abraham’s faith are these:
The necessity for the death of the One through whom the blessing will eventually come to all mankind. If Jesus had not died for our sins, there would have been no remission of them. Hence there would have been no resurrection from the dead, and in that event death would have been more than a sleep. It would have meant extinction.
Let us be sure that if Jesus had not faithfully fulfilled His part of the agreement and laid down His life, neither would He have shared in the grand consummation and exaltation to the Divine nature. St. Paul declares this, saying that He was faithful unto death, “even the death of the cross, wherefore [on this account] God also hath highly exalted Him.”—Philippians 2:8,9
MOSES WROTE OF CHRIST
“For had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.”—John 5:46
Moses wrote of the RANSOM in every sin-offering offered, the life of the beast which typified the man Christ Jesus being given as a propitiation [satisfaction] for the sins of the people whose sins it bore, and to make atonement for which its blood was shed.
Moses wrote of the RANSOM when he told of how God clothed the guilty pair (Adam and Eve) expelled naked from Eden, with coats of skins to cover their nakedness instead of their own scanty fig-leaf covering. Therein Moses told of the uselessness of man’s effort to cover himself with garments of righteousness and of the fact that God would provide a covering, but at the cost of the LIFE OF ANOTHER.
Who Needs To Be “Ransomed”?
Adam needed to be ransomed and all his prodigy- because in Adam all men die (1Corinthians 15:22)—Adam is the one “head” of the human race and all mankind was brought under death by Adam. The second Adam, Jesus Christ (by man) is the other head of the human race, Jesus brings resurrection to all that are under his headship.
There is a vast difference between Adam’s sin and Jehovah gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, “Adam” brought death to all, he allowed death to reign in us; Even greater was the wonderful grace and gift of Jehovah’s forgiveness to many through our lord and savior Jesus Christ—the man.
The result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with Him, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of the one man “Adam” caused death to rule many, The Lord God gave us His wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man “Jesus Christ”. Romans 5:15-17
Can Anyone be the “Ransom”?
The short answer would be No! One man’s estate cannot be the ransom for another, not even if one were a king and gave all his goods, the price is too high. God does not value money, goods or any material things, it is of no account to Him.
The Lord can take both the life of our brother and their estate without any difficulty if He pleases; this He could do without any wrong to us or Himself. Therefore, one cannot ransom for another. We can’t bribe death nor bargain with Him, we will die and turn to dust without any discharge from it. Silly would be the word to use if we believe our wealth can stop the sentence of death for our dearest ones even ourselves. Psalm 49:7,8
The redemption of the soul is precious—That is life when it is going can’t be arrested nor when it is gone can be recalled by any human art, or worldly price. We can look to the Messiah (Redeemer) for eternal redemption. Everlasting life is a jewel of great value that cannot be purchased by the wealth of this world. We are not redeemed with corruptible things (1Peter 1:18-19) but being once bought it shall cease forever, it shall never need to be repeated Hebrews 9:25-26. The redeemer shall live forever and he shall not see corruption-Revelation 1:18-Christ did for us what No brother, Friend or one with the best of estate or interest nor all the riches of the world could do; Because of that may he be dearer to us than any worldly thing or person.
What Does the “Ransom” Accomplish?
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
The Apostle Paul informs us that Jesus has been absent from earth—in the heaven—during all the intervening time from his ascension to the beginning of the Times of Restitution, or the Millennial age—”whom the heaven must retain until the times of restitution of all things,” etc. (Acts 3:21) Since the Scriptures thus teach that the object
of our Lord’s second advent is the restitution of all things, and that at the time of his appearing the nations are so far from being converted as to be angry (Revelation 11:18) and in opposition”.
The conversion of the world in the present age was never expected of the Church, but that her mission has been to preach the Gospel in all the world for a witness, and to prepare herself under divine direction for her great future work. God has not yet by any means exhausted his power for the world’s conversion. He has not yet even attempted the world’s conversion. This may seem a strange statement to some but let such reflect that if God has attempted such a work he has signally failed.But a restoration is promised in due time which will bring mankind to a full resurrection from the dead: Mankind “will come forth, “every man in his own order.” (I Corinthians 15:23) Their awakening will merely bring them forth from the tomb in the condition in which they entered it; for in the grave, “there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) This awakening is not the resurrection, but merely the preliminary step toward it. The Greek word rendered “resurrection” is anastasis and means literally “a standing up again.” Adam fell, and ever since “the whole world lieth in wickedness”—literally, “in the wicked one.” (IJohn 5:19) The standing up again is, therefore, a return to the perfection lost in Eden; for the world of mankind the resurrection is the Restitution.—Acts 3:19-21
During the thousand years of Messiah’s reign, the resurrection of the world will be in progress. The work will not be done by the Father directly, but will be committed to the Lord Jesus (John 5:28,29), and will require the whole thousand years for its completion. At the end of that Millennial reign the world of mankind will be perfect, as was Adam in his creation. All God’s work is perfect.—Deuteronomy 32:4; Genesis 1:31
Who Paid The “Ransom” Price?
To explore this question, we need to look at several key scriptures since there are several inspired writers in the Bible who point to or identify the one person who fully satisfied the requirements of the “Ransom” sacrifice.
Let us first look at John 3:16-17 –For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
This scripture unpacks the wisdom of God’s love. Understanding that because none born as Adam’s offspring (born under sin) could redeem (buy back) his fellow man (Psalm 49:7 – None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him) for it would require a perfect man to redeem a “perfect” man “Adam” from the penalty of his transgression which was “death”.
It further identifies the source of this redemption as His son known to us as “Christ Jesus”.
The next scripture we will explore is 1Timothy 2:5- For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 John 2:1-2 – My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins; and Matthew 20:28 – Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Again, pointing to Christ Jesus as the “ransom” sacrifice.
The sole purpose of his coming was to provide the necessary, just, payment for the redemption of mankind and the restoration of their life rights.
The word propitiation used here mentioned in 1 John 2:2 is speaking of atonement (at-one-ment) which in and of is self is the Ransom price paid to make whole the relationship between all parties (Adam and his offspring being reconciled to God).
What Requirements had to be met for Jesus to die to for Everyone?
“A ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5, 6).
If you’re like a lot of people, you have a hard time meditating on the suffering and death of Jesus. It can be difficult to understand how one man’s suffering and death over two thousand years ago could save and transform lives.
However, Jesus’ suffering and death must be impressed upon our hearts if we are to fully understand the liberation it means for us. Jesus’ death was necessary. Why? Here are some things to consider.
(1) Jesus’ death was necessary to satisfy justice
From the very beginning, Jesus had to die. For the Israelites death was an everyday experience, because it was necessary. The regular sacrifice of animals at the temple was required to make atonement for sin, a constant reminder of what their sin deserved (Exodus 29:36). However, Israel’s animal sacrifices never really took sin away. They could only represent what was needed, the death of a man for a man’s (Adam’s and his offspring) disobedience. Not just any man but a perfect man’s life (Jesus) for a perfect man’s life (Adam).
Not human and divine but a perfect fully human being (Jesus). For God cannot die and would never give the pretense that He can or would. So, it would require one in full accord with God’s arrangement (not one born under Adamic sin) to meet the requirement.
God Himself provided His own Son as the sacrifice that would finally satisfy God’s wrath and justice for sin. As Abraham approached the altar to sacrifice his own son, he prophetically spoke of God’s provision in Christ:
And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. (Genesis 22:7–8)
God Himself provided the sacrifice, sacrificing His own Son to satisfy His divine wrath (1 Corinthians 5:7; Romans 3:25). As Christ’s blood flowed forth from his head, his hands and feet, and from his side, we are reminded of the flow of blood from the animal’s neck that was slit as a sacrifice. (“without shedding of blood, there is no remission [forgiveness]” of sin, Hebrews 9:22).
Christ the savior strode toward the altar where he would offer his own body as the ultimate sacrifice. The altar was then sprinkled with this blood as were the people, thereby bonding God to His people through the blood (Exodus 24:6–8). By blood the Old Covenant was made and by blood a better covenant will be made (Hebrews 7:27–28; 9:12).
(2) Jesus’ suffering and death was the ultimate victory.
Jesus’ suffering and death was not only a sacrifice but a great battle. David, stepping forward as the great representative warrior against Goliath, prefigured Christ’s own warrior identity. Christ did battle against the forces of evil when he carried his cross up to Golgotha. The nails driven into his hands and feet demonstrated the clash of Satan’s power with the Son of God.
As he hung on the tree, Jesus was conquering the invisible enemy of God and indeed of the whole human race. Who could conceive of victory in death? Who could have imagined a great warrior doing battle by submitting himself to the whip of the very people he was fighting to save? This is not only contrary to everything the world defines as victory but is ludicrous to our sinful minds. It is unheard of, nonsensical!
For the disciples, Jesus’ death was heart-wrenching and disappointing in the extreme. Surely they thought their lives were over. They were so certain Jesus was the promised Messiah, and yet the great warrior king they were expecting allowed himself to be whipped, to have a crown of thorns jammed into his skull, and to die the worst kind of death.
Wars are not won without fighting; so Jesus, unknown to the disciples, walked the warrior’s path and shocked the world. He went willingly, voluntarily shouldering the great burden of the world. Standing as the representative for Adam and his offspring (God’s human creation), Christ both lamb and lion, humble servant and great warrior, fought with Satan and conquered him (1 Corinthians 15:55; Revelation 5:5).
(3) Jesus’ death was a willing sacrifice of obedience.
Today, many people see this as a great story that moves them to compassion for the suffering of Jesus. But if we truly try to understand what Christ was doing when he suffered and died, it would be impossible for our minds to grasp the full extent. God’s Son walked through the valley of the shadow of death as a just and perfect human sacrifice to redeem Adam and his offspring from the death sentence.
The king (Jesus) died and so he conquered. The declaration that our sins were laid upon Christ Jesus, simultaneously the great sacrificial lamb and warrior king, is the most liberating news the world has ever heard.
Christ had to die, but he went willingly, (Hebrews 10:5). He knowingly and willingly endured the pain and the shame for you and me (Hebrews 12:2). From the very beginning, he knew he had to die (Matthew 20:28); he knew the battle he had to fight, and he fought it for us.
Here is the answer just in case you missed it:
He had to be a corresponding (same as) price – a perfect “human” man (Christ Jesus) for a perfect “human” man (Adam)
He had to be willing to sacrifice his life (in death)
He had to be holy, harmless, and separate from sinners (not contaminated with hereditary sin).
He had to keep the way perfectly, all the way to his death on the cross.
The scriptures describe God as having four primary character attributes: love, justice, wisdom, and power. In the ransom, we see an exercise of God’s love and justice. God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son (Christ Jesus) to be mankind’s redeemer, or ransom, thus satisfying God’s just sentence of death upon Adam and all mankind, making it possible to release the human family from the penalty of death.
When Will This Occur?
“AND He shall send Jesus Christ, which [who] before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must retain until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:20,21
The specific work of the first advent was to redeem men; and that of the second is to restore, and bless, and liberate the redeemed. Having given his life a ransom for all, our Savior ascended to present that sacrifice to the Father, thus making reconciliation for man’s iniquity. He tarries and permits “the prince of this world” to continue the rule of evil, until after the selection of “the Bride, the Lamb’s wife,” who, to be accounted worthy of such honor, must overcome the influences of the present evil world. Then the work of giving to the world of mankind the great blessings secured to them by his sacrifice will be due to commence, and he will come forth to bless all the families of the earth.
Adam forfeited his perfect life by disobeying God in the Garden of Eden. Adam not only forfeited his own life when he came under God’s just penalty (Genesis 2:17 – But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.), he also forfeited the lasting lives of all his children – every man, woman, and child who has ever lived including ourselves. We were all born imperfect and entered the dying state on the day we entered our mother’s womb. It would require a perfect man to lift mankind out from under the penalty of death.
Let’s look at Hosea 13:14 – I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death; John 4:42 – And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world; John 1:29 – The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and
saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world; and 1 John 4:14 – And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
This is further confirmation that the purpose of Jesus dying on the cross was to provide the Ransom. The Hebrew word translated “ransom” is padah, and it means “to redeem by paying a price”. Notice here that mankind is redeemed or released from death by the payment of this price.
The people, John the Baptist, and the apostles all gave witness that Jesus was and is the savior (a “Ransom” for all) of the whole world.
Several other scriptures that teach this foundational truth of the Ransom are Job 33:24, 25, Isaiah 35:9-10; 51:10; Jeremiah 31:11; Romans 5:12, 18, and 1 Corinthians 15:22.
The next scripture we will explore is 1Timothy 2:6 – Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
It says that Jesus gave himself a ransom for all. The focus is that he “gave” freely his life for “all.” Salvation from the penalty of death is not for just a few, but for all. Again, every man, woman, and child who has ever lived, whether before or after Jesus was born.
Proof that the ransom applies to all who ever lived is found in the two verses immediately preceding our text under consideration, 1Timothy 2:3, 4 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our saviour; who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
God wills all to be saved—not just a few, or even a bare majority.
He also wills to give everyone the opportunity to receive the benefits of the ransom.
All will receive knowledge of the truth—the truth of the Ransom.
When will the ransom become effective and all mankind be released from their graves and the penalty of death? When will all mankind “come unto the knowledge of the truth”? We answer with the words of the apostle in I Timothy 2:6, “to be testified in due time.” The due time for the ransom to be testified, or put into effect for the benefit of all mankind, is in the “Times of Restitution of all things” referred to in our other theme scripture, Acts 3:21, “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
Close Your Eyes
Close your eyes for a moment, if you can,
to the scenes of misery and woe,
degradation and sorrow,
that yet prevail on account of sin,
and picture before your mental vision
the glory of the perfect earth.
Not a stain of sin mars the harmony and peace
of a perfect society;
not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word,
but love welling up from every heart
to meet a kindred response in every other heart;
benevolence marking every act.
Then there shall be no more sickness,
not an ache, nor a pain,
nor any evidence of decay—
not even a fear of any such thing.
Think of all the pictures of comparative health
of human form and feature, that you have ever seen,
and know that perfect men and women
will be of still surpassing loveliness.
The inward purity and mental and moral perfection
will stamp and glorify every radiant countenance.
Such will earth’s society be; and weeping,
bereaved ones will have their tears all wiped away
when thus they realize the resurrection work