Saturday, March 31, 2018


Redeem seems to be used in two senses in the scriptures. One where the redeemer pays a ransom to the kidnapper to set the enslaved person free. The second where the redeemer uses superior force to set the captive free. The Exodus was the second type. No ransom was paid to Pharaoh (except the deaths of firstborn and his army, but he paid that not the redeemer).

If Jesus death was a ransom, then the redemption must be the second type, where a ransom was paid to the kidnapper. God was the redeemer not the kidnapper/enslaver.

Christus Victor and ransom are not the same. Christus Victor would be a rescue like the exodus, where the enslaved people are rescued by superior force and no ransom is based.

Mark says that Jesus was a ransom, so the atonement is more like the second type of rescue where a ransom was paid. God paid the ransom by offering Jesus. The ransom was paid to the spiritual powers of evil who had enslaved humans at the fall. They used to the requirements of the law to demand death for sin. Paying the ransom robbed them of their power, so by being a ransom Christ ended up being victorious (Christus Victor).

Jesus was death was a punishment, but not one demanded by God. God had given Israel his law to enable them to live in peace in a new land. His approach to the penalties of the law was gracious. However, the spiritual powers of evil used the law against God to demand that the penalties specified by the law be paid in full. They said it would not be just, if humans were let off scot-free, and they were not. The accuser was able to indict humans for breaking the law, so he demanded the penalty specified by the law, which was death. So Jesus died in our place, as punishment demanded by the accuser, not one demanded by God.

God was happy to forgive, because he is gracious. But the spiritual powers of evil who love death and destruction demand that the full penalty be paid.

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