“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame.
And on that old cross the dearest and best,
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
It is a tragic picture to contemplate. A perfect man, so unjustly convicted, dying in the prime of life. But his greatest defeat was his greatest triumph. That was why he came. That was why he left the heavenly courts to become a man in the first place.
Note how obediently and willingly and humbly Jesus, the firstborn Bright Morning Star answered, when our Heavenly Father asked who should He send down to earth as the Redeemer, “Here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). This is why the Son was the Almighty Heavenly Father’s delight.
Just as father Adam caused the death penalty to be imposed upon the whole human family, Christ’s willing sacrifice provides a mechanism to redeem all mankind. Only a perfect being who was separate from God could accomplish the task of removing the death penalty upon Adam and his race and providing a way for mankind to be redeemed from the power of the grave.
If Jesus were merely an extension or a part of Jehovah God, it could not be legally accomplished. Thus Christ’s sacrifice provided an “acquittal from guilt” on behalf of his church and later on behalf of the world. Thus we see how the separation of the Father and the son, and the ransom, play an integral part in understanding justification.
God loves each and every human who ever lived. We cannot imagine the sorrow and pain that God experienced when Adam fell. We can only get some idea of this feeling when we observe the grief of parents when their children go astray.
God not only provided a mechanism to rescue his precious creation, but fully authorized his son to execute this plan for their redemption. This is revealed in Isaiah 53:11 where the heavenly Father provides his remedy for dealing at the present time with the Church.
“By his knowledge the righteous one, my servant, will justify the many, as he will bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11, NAS).
Not only did God provide this mechanism for their redemption, he empowered this Righteous One to justify those whom he had chosen. The apostle Paul affirms this in his letter to the Galatians where he tells us “that God would justify the heathen through faith” (Galatians 3:8). It is clear God has empowered his son to justify and redeem.
To fully appreciate the scope of that one redemptive act of our beloved Savior Jesus Christ, we need to take a closer look. His death was scripturally styled a ransom. Today we think of a ransom as a price for the release of a hostage, which is paid to a kidnapper. The scriptural word “ransom,” however, has a deeper significance. Literally it means a price to correspond.
From the word ransom found in 1 Timothy 2:4–6 we learn that:
- God wants to save the whole human race;
- Jesus was the way to do that [a ransom]; and
- It will be testified in due time.
The PURPOSE of the Ransom
The object of the ransom was not to justify sin, nor to bring back the sinner to continue a life of sin, but to afford each an individual trial for life in hope that all might return to harmony and communion with God.
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes” (Hosea 13:14).
To ransom means not only to purchase, but to receive or to recover the thing that is purchased.
- Set Price – Lutron — equivalence; price of loosening. The price was set at Adam’s sin. And it releases Adam, thus it releases all that came from Adam, every person that has ever lived. And every person whether they know or want the release from sin will get it and they do not have to do anything to receive it; not even believe it will happen.“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22).Adam for Jesus, a perfect life for a perfect life; how beautifully they balance the scales of justice!
- Get Price – Anti-Lutron — corresponding price for loosening. Jesus Christ was that corresponding perfect price.
- Pay price – Paratithemi — to deposit as a trust. When Jesus had offered His ALL, the last thing he could do was say : (‘Paratithemi’)
“Father into thy hands I commend (deposit) my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
- Loosen – Luo — to loosen. This allowed the Father to do the loosening when HE chooses in due time during the Millennial Age (when Christ shall reign with his “bride,” comprising of 144,000 members) soon to come.
Now let us visit a scene earlier, when Jesus was meditating in the wilderness. He was meditating on the law of God, the law given to Israel through Moses at Sinai.
That law was perfect. Therefore imperfect man could not keep it. As the Apostle Paul says in Romans 7:10, “The commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” No one could keep that law. But Jesus did. By keeping a perfect law perfectly he demonstrated that he was a perfect man, therefore a corresponding price for the only other perfect man in history, Adam. Like an index finger, the law pointed out the one person who could pay the ransom price.
Beyond this, we note that Adam and Eve had no children until they left the garden of Eden. All of their offspring inherited imperfect life. Jesus also had the potential for a perfect human race in his loins (Isaiah 53:10). Thus he corresponded not only to Adam but to the entire human race which came from Adam.
No wonder then we sing with rejoicing:
In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering oer the wrecks of time.
So l’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to that old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
As our theme text from 1 Timothy 2:4-6 reads, God has willed or determined (rather than “desired”) that all mankind:
- Be saved from Adamic death… from the destruction of the grave—accomplished through the GREATEST MIRACLE the world has EVER seen! THE RESURRECTION!
- Be saved from ignorance, blindness and deafness.
- Have a New Covenant established by God, with those of humanity who are on earth in the 1000 year Messianic Kingdom.
- Be restored to perfection & granted eternal life.
- Come to a knowledge of God and thus, for mankind to have a relationship with God forever.
The Ransom provides a salvation which is clearly UNCONDITIONAL and depends alone on the will of God.
While this Scripture teaches a universal redemption, yet there are other Scriptures which speak of the ultimate destruction of a certain class who choose to reject to obey Godly principles. All who will be obedient shall be saved during the reign of The Christ (Head—Christ Jesus; Body of Christ—Christ’s 144,000 Body members).
God has made full provision for the enlightenment of all when they awaken from the dead to bring them to a position where they can receive an accurate knowledge. This knowledge will not be theoretical, for mankind will be brought to it through practical experience. The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth (Isaiah 11:9). They will have a full opportunity to make a choice between the law of God which leads to life, and the law of sin which leads to death. Knowledge of truth is light, and Christ is “the true light, to lighten every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).
Jesus is an ADVOCATE now to those who have consecrated their lives to following in Jesus’ footsteps (showing this through not only baptism, but willingly rejoicing in the spirit of the hope we have before us, suffering as did our Master because of pursuing righteousness in world surrounded by sin) yet he will be the world’s Mediator in the Millennial Kingdom when the sacrificing is finished and the entire Church, Christ’s body, is complete with him in glory. This is when the New Covenant is ushered in. No mediating can be done until the Mediator of “many members” has qualified for the office. That qualification consists of sacrificing according to a covenant of sacrifice now. The members of the great Mediator will be associated with every feature of the work of mediating during the Millennium.
The word MEDIATOR from the Greek is mesite and means middle-man, reconciler, go-between. The Scriptural usage of the word Mediator confines it to a Mediator of a Covenant between parties who are alienated. A mediator is one who interposes between two persons who are at variance, with a view to reconciling them. Moses, as the Mediator of the Law Covenant, was a type of Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant. The mediator Moses and his covenant had not power to grant mercy or justification, as can be done under the future New Covenant by its mediator, Christ Jesus. At the close of the thousand years the Mediator steps out from between God and man and leaves the world exposed to the full demands of divine justice in letter and spirit during a little season at the end of the Messianic Age, like the Little Season there shall be at the end of this 2000 year Gospel Age.
In verse 5 of our theme text (1 Timothy 2:4-6), we read about “The man” (Christ Jesus)—the Greek word being, Anthropos—human being. It refers to when Jesus was made flesh, and not when he was a spirit being; and not since his resurrection, for he was no longer a man no longer. Jesus “gave himself” as “the anointed” One (the word Christ signifies “the anointed”), who finished the giving of himself at Calvary. The name Jesus is but another form for Joshua, which signifies Deliverer. The name Christ is the Greek equivalent for the word Messiah – The Redeemer.
Jesus surrendered perfect human life (to which he had a full right) that is, all of himself, his human rights, privileges; the full equivalent of Adam’s life and perfection. By his willing sacrifice of himself for men he bought Adam and the entire race. He has not yet made application of this human life to Adam and his race, but has merely put it into the Father’s hands.
Christ was both Priest and Sacrifice, illustrated by the high priest under the law offering; the beast—a lower nature—as a sacrifice for sin.
Just like we discussed earlier that ransom signifies a price, as an equivalent, so Jesus’ disciples renounce their share in the ransom blessings that are coming to the world on earth in the soon to begin Millennium, that they may have a share in a still greater blessing.
So when we talk about the resurrection, to us it means that Christ’s sacrifice was accepted by God because he would not have been resurrected if it had not been accepted. Another evidence of the Father’s acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice was seen by his sending the Pentecostal baptism upon the representatives of his Church, his Body and his house. There his anointing, the holy Spirit (symbolized by the holy anointing oil), came upon the Church, and continues ever since on all the living members of the anti-typical High Priest’s Body.
Jesus laid down his life as a sin-offering during the 3 ½ years but Jesus applied it as a ransom to the Church class when he appeared in the presence of God for us. He has not yet applied it for the whole world.
The Church is not a part of the ransom price but does share in the sin-offering through grace. These two doctrines are inseparable. We could call them the TWIN DOCTRINES as they always work together in the process of salvation.
The Emblems of Salvation
- TWIN # 1 = RANSOM—is the Bread.
- TWIN # 2 = SIN-OFFERING—is the Cup.
[NOTE: for the sake of time, we have not focused on the sin-offering doctrine in this post.]
The ransom shows God’s justice; the requirement of righteousness. It is a statutory requirement to release mankind from Adamic condemnation and PROVIDES A STANDING BEFORE GOD for each person’s beginning. IT IS FREE and cannot be lost.
Christ has already redeemed all mankind in the sense that he has laid down the ransom price; but he has not yet redeemed mankind in the sense of recovering them nor even in the sense of applying that price. At the end of this Age the Father will apply the price for Israel and the world; and then the New Covenant arrangements will go into effect for the blessing of all who come under its regulations. The full benefit of this ransom price will not have been given until the work of the Millennial age shall have been finished when all will come into harmony with God and when our heavenly Father is ALL in ALL.
Suggested Further Reading