God’s Word Is Alive
What Does Jesus’ Death Mean to Us?
AFTER Jesus Christ died, the travelers Cleopas and his friend stood still on the road “with sad faces.” (Luke 24:17) Death is an enemy, so it naturally causes sadness. Yet these men actually could be happy that Jesus had died, and so can we. Do you know why?
The Bible explains: “Christ died for our sins.” “He died for us, that . . . we should live.” (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:10) Yes, Jesus was sent to earth to save us. He himself said: “The Son of man came . . . to give his soul [or, life] a ransom in exchange for many.” (Matthew 20:28) But what does it mean that Jesus gave his life as “a ransom”? What is a ransom?
The word “ransom” is often used when there is a kidnapping. After a kidnapper captures a person, he may say he will return the victim if a certain amount of money is paid as a ransom. So a ransom is something that brings about the deliverance of a person held captive. It is something that is paid so that the person does not lose his life. Jesus’ perfect human life was given to obtain mankind’s release from bondage to sin and death. (1 Peter 1:18, 19; Ephesians 1:7) Why was such a release needed?
It was needed because Adam, our forefather, rebelled against God. (Genesis 2:17; 3:11, 12) His lawless act thus made him a sinner, since the Bible explains that “sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4; 5:17) As a result, he was not worthy of receiving God’s gift of everlasting life. (Romans 6:23) So Adam lost for himself perfect human life on a paradise earth. He also lost this wonderful prospect for all the children he would produce. ‘But why,’ you may ask, ‘did all his children have to die, since it was Adam who sinned?’
This is because Adam, when he became a sinner, passed sin and death on to his children, including all humans now living. (Job 14:4; Romans 5:12) So humans have been dying because of the sin that they inherited from Adam. How was it possible, then, for the death of Jesus to free all people from bondage to sin and death?
A legal principle in God’s law for the nation of Israel is involved. It states that ‘life should be given for life.’ (Exodus 21:23) By his disobedience the perfect man Adam lost perfect life on a paradise earth for himself and all his children. Jesus Christ gave his own perfect life to buy back what Adam lost. As the Bible explains, Jesus “gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.”—1 Timothy 2:5, 6.
Just think what this means for us! It means that Jesus poured out his lifeblood in death so that we could have the opportunity to live forever under the rule of God’s kingdom. Will you show your gratitude by using your life to serve God and his heavenly Son, Jesus Christ?—2 Corinthians 5:14, 15.
[Pictures on page 8]
How can ‘ransom money’ help us to understand Jesus’ ransom?
[Pictures on page 9]
Adam’s disobedience resulted in what to himself and the whole human race?
Since Jesus was the equal of the perfect man Adam, what does that mean for us?