Typically when we think of the word ransom, we think of kidnapping and the amount of money a business or family will then pay to have a colleague or loved one returned … safe and sound. Of course with kidnappings and ransoms, things rarely turn out as all would like. On TV, the kidnappers typically say don’t involve the police … and the first thing done is to get the police involved. Sometimes the kidnappers may delay their request for ransom. The ransom amounts can vary from hundreds of thousands to millions … all of which businesses and families are not necessarily so anxious to part with. And oftentimes a payment drop will be arranged … but typically all as a ruse to capture the kidnappers. Meanwhile, the hostages or captives are forced to face questions like …
- What value has my captor placed on my life?
- What value will my family and loved ones place on my life?
- Will I die because of unmet ransom demands?
Like a police spokesperson, announcing early in a kidnapping, that we will do all we can to get the hostages back, Jesus once stood up in the synagogue and said the following …
And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:17-21 (NASB)
Proclaim release to the captives … who are the captives?
At one time, every single one of us was held captive …
The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NASB)
You might be thinking … that was then and this is now … I am smarter than that. I’m no captive.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Colossians 2:8 (NASB)
Now that we have established, that we all at one time or another were captives … and Jesus has declared release to the captive … what is our ransom?
Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28 (ESV)
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (ESV)
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10 (ESV)
Two key verses then a few questions for our consideration …
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)
“ For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (ESV)
Who is our captor? Our captors are the devil, sin and death …
Who chose to pay our ransom? God the Father …
What value was placed on my life? For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son … the value placed on my life … the value placed on your life … was the very life of the Son of God.
Who was the payment of my ransom? The sinless beaten, crucified, dead and buried Jesus
Who set me free? The resurrected and living Savior of the world … Christ Jesus.
To what end was I set free? Eternal life IN Christ Jesus our Lord!
I Googled ‘largest ransoms ever paid’ and the search results included this article on ‘The 18 Largest Ransoms Ever Paid’. While a very interesting read, there was a glaring omission that made the article incomplete.
The largest ransom ever paid was the Son of the God for the release of the world past, present and future … a ransom covering the release of billions of captives and yet a ransom paid specifically and personally for me … specifically and personally for you.
BTW … a synonym for ransomed is redeemed…
Ransomed … a powerful and convicting reminder this Easter!