“As he expected, Jesus Himself came down to earth in the flesh to save the souls who sinned, and sacrificed His body as a sin offering for them. The Bible says, ‘The wages of sin is death.’ So, in order to save the spirits who sinned, a righteous person without sin must die. According to ancient law, if a man sets a sinner free, he must die instead of the sinner” (1 Ki 20:42). – Quotes from the Truth Book titled “Visitors from the Angelic World”—Chapter 13: The First Adam and the Last Adam –
1. Literal meaning
“Ransom,” λυτρον [Lutron] in Greek, is a word for money demanded or paid for the release of a slave or a captive.
2. Principle of ransom in history (1 Ki 20:1-43)
In the days of Ahab king of Israel, there was a war between Ben-Hadad king of Aram and Ahab king of Israel. Accompanied by thirty-two kings with their horses and chariots, the king of Aram went up and besieged Samaria [the capital city of Israel] and attacked it. He demanded a surrender from Israel, but King Ahab and the Israelites decided to fight against the army of Aram.
Then a prophet of God came to the king and let him know that God would give the army of Aram into the hand of Israel [that God would give Israel victory over Aram], and Israel won a great victory in the battle.
Meanwhile, the officials of the king of Aram advised him, “Their gods [the God of Israel] are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they.” So the king strengthened his army and went up again to fight against Israel the next year.
The Israelites were also diligently preparing for war by taking advice from the prophet of God when he told them that the army of Aram would surely attack Israel the next year. However, when they marched out to meet the enemy, they were “like two small flocks of goats, while the Arameans covered the countryside” (1 Ki 20:27). Israel was so inferior in military strength.
Then the prophet came up and told the king of Israel:
“This is what the LORD says: ‘Because the Arameans think the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”
By the help of God, the army of Israel won a great victory over the Arameans, and the king of Aram had no choice but to beg Ahab king of Israel to spare his life. Ahab became arrogant when he heard the words of exaltation from the king of Aram, and released him and his army whom God had delivered into the hand of Israel.
Afterward, a prophet received a message from God. He disguised himself as a wounded soldier by pulling his headband down over his eyes, and went before King Ahab.
“Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and someone came to me with a captive and said, ‘Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life, or you must pay a talent of silver.’ While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared.”
When King Ahab heard this, he did not know that the prophet was talking about himself, and said, “That is your sentence. You have pronounced it yourself.” The prophet said to the king:
“This is what the LORD says: ‘You have set free a man I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.’ ”
As shown above, the word “ransom” means that someone without sin dies in place of sinners deserving of death, so that they may live.
3. Christ became a ransom for us
In the Old Testament times, an animal was slaughtered and its blood was sprinkled on the altar as a ransom for the Israelites whenever they sinned. This was a shadow showing that Christ, the reality of all the offerings, would give Himself as a ransom for mankind by shedding His blood in the New Testament times.
Now all the souls, who believe in the atoning blood of Christ and follow His teachings, will not be condemned but saved, being ransomed by Christ.
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mt 20:28, Mk 10:45
Jesus willingly gave His life as a ransom for mankind, who sinned unto death. The sublime love of Jesus has now been engraved in the hearts of the heavenly children, which will never be forgotten.