The View From Here

Who got paid off?

He owed nothing but paid him off anyway.  Jesus said he came to give his life—a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).  The word “ransom” is just one way the Bible describes what Jesus did when he died on the cross.  We quickly understand that we were the ones Jesus ransomed, but have you stopped to think who got the payoff?  Who was holding us hostage?  Did someone benefit from the ransom that was paid? And why didn’t God just send in the heavenly SWAT team? 

The idea that a ransom was paid, as Jesus stated it, reaches back into the Old Testament.  We quickly think of hostages, but the imagery from Exodus is of slavery.  God delivered his people from the burden and bondage of the Egyptians with his power and mighty judgments (Ex. 6:6).  This becomes a picture of God redeeming his people from sin’s slavery. 

Some are wrong in thinking the ransom was paid to Satan.  Satan actually has no part in this transaction.  Satan did want something from Jesus.  Satan offered the world to Jesus, if Jesus would worship him (Luke 4:5-8).  Of course, Jesus wasn’t about to give Satan anything but a stiff rebuke.

The idea that a ransom was paid points not “to whom” it was paid, but rather points to the “high price” that was paid.  So, wondering “who got paid off” is probably the wrong question.  Mark 10:45 should astonish us.  Jesus stated that he came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as the price for our release from slavery.  The ransom paid points to Jesus.

So what happened when Jesus paid this ransom?  Redemption.  Those who are redeemed are freed from sin (Romans 5:18; 6:6; 8:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:24), the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13), condemnation (Rom. 8:1), the Mosaic Code (Rom. 7:1-5; 1 Cor. 9:20-21; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14-23) and spiritual (demonic) powers of darkness (Col 1:13-17).

There is now nothing holding you back from the throne of God, if you trust in the gift that has been given: Jesus Christ.  A ransom had to be paid.  A perfectly loving God offers forgiveness, and a God of justice makes sure that the penalty is paid.  God, who “so loved the world,” provided Jesus Christ to be the bridge.  Jesus, the ransom-payer, becomes the mediator between God and man.  He took on your sin, became the curse, was condemned in your place, fulfilled the Mosaic code and destroyed the grip Satan, sin and death had over you.  If you are in Christ, you are truly free.  The one who benefits from the ransom paid can be you.

Posted by Joshua Holland with
in Love

Need-Oriented Evangelism

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   An artist was commissioned to paint a picture of a decaying church. Many were astonished when they saw that he had painted a beautiful building with large stained glass windows. Through one of the openings could be see a majestic pulpit, a fancy organ and comfortable seating throughout. In the center of the painting was an offering tray for missions. It was covered with cobwebs from lack of use.
   At the end of the Gospel of Matthew Jesus tells us we are to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations….” There are many ways to be involved in obeying the Lord.
   We have seen children trust Jesus as their Savior through the children’s ministries of Awana, Vacation Bible School, Bible Clubs and Sunday School. We are meeting needs of children every Friday night by feeding the ones whose parents are in Celebrate Recovery. We have folks building lunches and supplies for homeless teens. There are many people in our church who meet regularly with friends who are growing closer to a decision. Others engage with international students for the purpose of sharing Christ.
   On the global scale, we support a variety of missionaries from those serving in foreign lands to those serving in strange new fields, from India to the gaming culture; we want to be obedient to the Lord’s command.
   Recently, we asked an assessment team to look at our church and they gave us a suggestion: do more in reaching the lost. Specifically, they challenged us to see the needs around us, meet those needs and share our faith. Would you join us in praying for this?
   We are committed to asking the Lord to give us His heart for the lost and His eyes to see the opportunities to speak to them. Join us as we seek out the Lord’s will for our church and our world. Pray regularly in your devotional time and join with others on Sunday evening at 6:00. Let’s ask the Lord of Heaven to move among us for the sake of those He died to save.
Posted by Bill Knepper with