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Theology > Jesus > Christ's Death > Ransom for Many 


For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve,
and to give His life a ransom for many.
Mk. 10:45

The Christ came to earth in order “to give His life a ransom for many”; note the following concepts: “give,” “His life,” “ransom,” and “for many.” Each of these is instructive, and each is vital for an understanding of the statement (see: Matt. 20:28).

“give” – Christ’s life was not taken; it was given; in fact, He affirmed that no one took it from Him, but that He freely gave it because He had the power to lay it down (Jo. 10:18); salvation then is a gift, it is the gift of grace; the idea of gift and grace suggests that man can do nothing to effect his salvation; all man can do is to receive, and to receive is to believe; (“Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us” – Tit. 2:13; the point is that He “gave”).

“His life” – what the Lord gave was His life; He gave “Himself” (Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us” – Tit. 2:13); in order to give Himself He gave up His blood (“He purchased with His own blood” – Acts 20:28), for the life is in the blood; to shed blood is to give up life; “You were not redeemed with corruptible things . . . but with the precious blood of Christ . . . manifest in these last times for you” (I Pet. 1:18-19).

“ransom” – a ransom is the price paid to free the one who is in debt; when the ransom is paid then the one who is in debt is declared free of debt, no longer guilty and therefore free; the purpose of the ransom is to redeem (“Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us” – Tit. 2:14; note the “redeem us”).

“for many” – the life the Son of Man gave as a ransom was for individuals; it was for those who were and are guilty before God; “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (II Cor. 5:19); “for” is anti, a preposition indicating substitution in the strongest possible manner, meaning “in the place of” or “instead of”; sometimes the Scriptures affirm that Christ died for all (“the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all” – I Tim. 2:6), and at other times for specific ones (“many”); through His work Christ was and is creating a people (“purify for Himself His own special people” – Tit. 2:14); a “people” for “Himself.”

Looking for . . . our great God and Savior Jesus Christ
who gave Himself for us,
that He might redeem us from every lawless deed
and purify for Himself His own special people.
Tit. 2:13-14  

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