Ransom for All

When Jesus grew to manhood and was heralded by John the Baptist as the Messiah the Jews were disappointed in him. They were looking for a leader greater than Moses, a general greater than Joshua, a king far greater than David or Solomon, who would deliver them from the subjection of the Romans, and make of them a great and mighty nation. The meek and lowly Nazarene was rejected by them, and thus Jesus became "despised and rejected of men" as the prophet had said the Messiah would be. (Isa.53.3). They had set their minds upon the prophecies which spoke of the might and power and glory of their Messiah, but overlooked those which spoke of his humiliation and sufferings. They forgot that God's prophet had said that he should be "led as a lamb to the slaughter", that he should "pour out his soul unto death", and "make his soul an offering for sin". (Isa.53.7‑12). These prophecies and many others were fulfilled in Jesus when He came to earth, but those which speak of His glory and power are yet to be fulfilled. Then the hopes of the Jew respecting the Messiah and the expectations of Christians respecting Christ's second coming will be more than fulfilled.

Why should Jesus pour out His soul unto death? Why should He make Himself an offering for sin?

Briefly the answer is this: Man, because of sin, dies. "The wages of sin is death", (Rom.6.23). Sin entered the world by one man's disobedience—the disobedience of Adam (Rom.5.12) and has passed upon all men because the offspring of Adam are all born imperfect, he having fallen from his perfect condition before any children were born to him. Thus "all in Adam die". (1 Cor.15.21‑22). Before man can have hope of everlasting life a ransom must be found for him, a "corresponding price" for the first man whose sin brought death. If such could be provided, then all who die because of Adam's transgression could be given hope of life. God had promised to ransom man from the power of death. (Hosea.13.14). Where was the ransom to be found? Not amongst fallen man. None of these can redeem his brother nor give to God a ransom for him. (Psalm 49.7). They are all imperfect, therefore cannot provide the ransom for man. Jesus was a perfect man, because he was "the only begotten Son of God". God was His Father. (Luke 1.30‑35). Jesus said that He came to give Himself a ransom (Matt.20.28), and the Apostle says that the man Christ Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all. (1 Tim.2.5.6). Jesus further said "I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly". (John 10.10). Jesus by reason of His great sacrifice provided the ransom price, which "in due time" (1 Tim.2.6) will bring to every man (He died for all; Heb.2.9) a release from the death in Adam, and give to all, one full fair opportunity of salvation and life everlasting. Thus "all the families of the earth" are to be blessed in Him, according to God's promise to Abraham. (Gen.12.1‑3). Jesus' teaching and example are the finest ever given to man, and have done much to make the world better, but His death was the all important matter. From the Cross there radiates the only real hope for humanity.

Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, highly exalted (Phil.2.7‑11) and given "all power". (Matt.28.18). As the risen, exalted Lord, He has power to bring to mankind the benefits of His sacrifice, but that work will not be completed until other features of God's plan and purpose are fulfilled.