“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men – the testimony given in its proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6
Ransom – What is given in exchange for another as the price of his redemption.
Salvation is not free. Redemption had a cost. We tend to forget that because we are not the ones who paid the price. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. Much like the jobs most of us do each day, sin earns a wage, a payment. The wage that sin pays is death. And we have all been swallowed in debt.
Eternal life, therefore, is a gift. By definition, salvation cannot be a gift unless it is paid for. When someone gives you a birthday gift, it is not free…it is only free to you. The gift is purchased…paid for by the giver. Someone chooses to pay what he does not owe, not to keep the gift for him, but to give it to you. It is Jesus who paid our ransom.
The first choice to rebel against God earns sin’s wage. At that moment, the sinner is spiritually kidnapped…and death is inevitable. Not just physical death, but spiritual death. Enmity with God is instantaneous. Sin holds us hostage, demanding the ultimate ransom…death.
It is an impossible situation. There is no negotiation, no compromise to be made. The ransom must be paid…and the sinner cannot pay it. The only hope is a mediator…one who can stand between God Almighty and the sinner. There is no one worthy. For all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. There is only one choice…but how can it be?
Then, one starry night the shepherds got the Good News. In the city of David, the Mediator was born – He is Christ the Lord. Angels rejoiced and shepherds worshiped. Wise men traveled and earthly kings plotted. Hope was born in a stable that night. Hope of reconciliation and freedom. Hope of life.
And 33 years later, the Mediator hung naked on the cross of our shame. He suffered and died in our place. He gave Himself as a ransom for our freedom. And now the gift of eternal life is offered freely for any who will believe, surrender and follow.
Dear Jesus, Thank You for offering Your life to set me free. You were and are my only hope for escape from sin’s penalty and sin’s power. I need You today as much as I ever have. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.