“You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19, RSV).
What does Peter mean here when he says that we were ransomed?
When Peter speaks about Christ’s atoning death on the cross, the “ransom” or price idea to which he refers brings to mind the ancient practice of a slave being freed from his bondage after a price had been paid (often by a relative). In contrast, Christ ransomed us from the slavery of sin and its final fruit, which is death, but He did it with His “precious blood,” His substitutionary and voluntary death on Calvary. Again, this is the foundation of all the covenants: without it, the covenant becomes null and void, because God could not have justly fulfilled His end of the deal, which is the gift of eternal life bestowed upon all who believe.
Look up the following verses: Romans 6:23, 1 John 5:11, 1 John 5:13. What message do all of them share in common?
We have this promise of eternal life, because Jesus alone could repair that breach that first caused us to lose that eternal life. How? Because the righteousness and infinite value of the Creator alone could cancel the debt we owed to the broken law — that is how wide the breach caused by sin was. After all, what would it say about the seriousness of God’s eternal moral law if some finite, temporal, and created being could pay the penalty for violating it? Only Someone who is equal to God Himself, in whom life existed unborrowed and underived and eternal, could have paid the ransom required to free us from the debt owed to the law. This is how all the covenant promises are fulfilled; this is how we have the promise of eternal life, even now; this is how we have been ransomed from sin and death.
|Imagine that someone’s child, in an art museum, throws a balloon filled with ink on a Rembrandt painting and ruins it completely. The painting is worth millions; the parents, even if they sold everything they owned, could not come close to paying the debt owed. In what sense does this image help us understand just how serious a breach sin has caused, how helpless we are to fix it, and why only the Lord Himself could pay the debt?|