Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
October 4, 1997
Last Updated :
May 12, 2018
The Importance Of Christ's Death And Resurrection, Jesus Gave His Life A Ransom For Many, Jesus' Announcement And Incident In Nazareth, Christ Liberated Us From Death And Sin, Moses' Far-Reaching Prophecy Concerning Jesus, Apostle Paul: Bought With A Price, Message Of Jesus' Final Passover Meal, Jesus's Body Was Broken For Our Healing And Resurrection, Resurrected The Third Day, Our Resurrected Bodies: We Shall Be Like Him, Without Shedding Of Blood There Is No Remission Of Our Sins, Christ Shed His Blood For Atonement And Propitiation Of Our Sins, Jesus Repeatedly Spoke Of His Coming Death, Isaiah Was Keenly Aware Of The Suffering Messiah, Jesus' Global Vision
I think we can all agree that it is very important that we as Christians truly understand the Plan of Redemption, and that we have a strong foundation in God's Word upon which to stand during times of doubt and testing. While I have explained God's Plan of Salvation quite fully in other articles such as "Message to the World", "Not Everyone is a Child of God" and "Marriage of the Lamb", which obviously includes delving into the topic of Christ's Blood Atonement on the Cross, I feel it is necessary to write yet another series which concentrates specifically on Jesus' own words regarding His approaching Death on the Cross, and His subsequent Resurrection. After all, it is this very act which is the pillar and foundation of our Christian faith.
Regardless of how many other things we claim to believe about the Bible, if we deny this one most important truth regarding Christ's Death and Resurrection, then we have really missed the whole reason for the many Old Testament prophecies which were fulfilled in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Regardless of how much we fill our heads with interesting Biblical facts and figures, unless we have placed our faith completely in the Cross at Calvary, we are lost. After all, as Jesus said in the Gospel of John:
". . . I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6, KJV
The first two verses I would like to take a look at in this study are found in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark where the Lord says the following:
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28, KJV
"For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Mark 10:45, KJV
The usage of the word "ransom" is very important in these two key verses. The American Heritage Dictionary defines "ransom" in the following manner:
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"The release of a person or property held captive in return for the payment of a demanded price."
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What a fitting word to describe exactly what Jesus did for all of us. We were indeed dead in our own sins, and captives of the Devil to boot. However, through His loving Sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus freed us into the glorious liberties of the Children of God. Consider one of the early things that Jesus said when He began His ministry after spending forty days fasting in the wilderness area around the Jordan River:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,"
Luke 4:18, KJV
As you may recall, the Lord had gone into the synagogue at Nazareth in order to teach, and He was actually reading from Isaiah 61:1. The Book of Isaiah is actually full of many verses regarding Jesus' ministry. A few verses later, and to the great surprise of those people who were present, Jesus then made the following shocking statement:
". . . This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
Luke 4:21, KJV
As you may know, the synagogue attendants were so offended by Jesus' words -- they considered it utterly blasphemous -- that they even attempted to throw Him off the top of a hill. This was Jesus' opening announcement so-to-speak concerning exactly what His ministry was all about. Similar to Moses of old, He had come to set the captives free. But unlike Moses who had primarily liberated the Hebrews in a physical sense from the bondage of Egypt, Jesus had come to fulfill the other half of God's plan. His main mission was to liberate all people everywhere -- and for all time, even those people who were not born yet, such as you and I -- in a spiritual sense from the bondage of death and sin. Consider how Jesus even referred to Moses when speaking to the unbelieving Jews:
"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"
John 5:46-47, KJV
Exactly what was it that Moses had written concerning Jesus? Well, almost two thousand years earlier, in a very prophetic statement regarding far future events, God had inspired Moses to say the following to the Israelites:
"The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."
Deuteronomy 18:15-19, KJV
This is such a wonderful revelation, that it excites me just to write about it. In the Old Testament, we have the Lord's physical Liberator, and in the New Testament we have God's spiritual Liberator. How fitting then that Moses should join Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in the Gospels. Exactly how did Jesus free us? As we have already seen, by providing Himself as the ransom for our sins; just as He said He would do in the previously-quoted verses from the Gospels. In fact, the Apostle Paul talked about and wrote about this very same thing. He informed his listeners and readers that we are all bought with a price; that being the Blood of Jesus Christ, as we see by the following group of verses:
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
Acts 20:28, KJV
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
"Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
1 Corinthians 7:23, KJV
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Ephesians 1:13-14, KJV
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
1 Timothy 2:5-6, KJV
To further confirm exactly why He had to die on the Cross, Jesus shared the following words with His Disciples during His final Passover meal -- that is, the Seder, or the Last Supper as some Christians refer to it -- the evening before His Crucifixion was to occur:
". . . Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
Matthew 26:26-28, KJV
"And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many."
Mark 14:22-24, KJV
"And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
Luke 22:14-20, KJV
I believe that Jesus' words have a double meaning. First, as many of you will already know, the Lord's physical body was broken -- that is, whipped and then crucified on the Cross -- for the physical healing of our bodies. That is, for our many infirmities. Furthermore, by being tortured, and put to death and then being physically resurrected from the dead -- please note that Jesus still possessed a body of flesh and bones following His Resurrection, Luke 24:39 -- He become the FirstFruits of the Resurrection. In this way, He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, that those people who believe in Him, will likewise someday experience the very same kind of resurrection. Jesus spoke of His miraculous Resurrection on the third day in the following set of verses:
". . . An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Matthew 12:39-40, KJV
"From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."
Matthew 16:21, KJV
"And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry."
Matthew 17:22-23, KJV
"Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again."
Matthew 20:18-19, KJV
"And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him."
Mark 9:30-32, KJV
"And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again."
Mark 10:32-34, KJV
"And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."
Luke 9:21-22, KJV
"The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."
Luke 13:31-32, KJV
". . . Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again."
Luke 18:31-33, KJV
"He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
Luke 24:6-7, KJV
"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
Luke 24:45-47, KJV
As incredulous and unbelieving as they were, the Gospel of Matthew informs us that the chief priests and Pharisees were not willing to take any chances. Thus, they implored Pontius Pilate that he would allow them to place guards at the tomb site -- which he permitted -- as we see by these verses:
"Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch."
Matthew 27:62-66, KJV
Concerning our own bodily resurrection from the dead, God's Word clearly informs us that someday we shall each inherit a body very similar to the Lord's resurrected body, as we can easily determine by the following group of verses. I have placed some words in uppercase for the sake of emphasis, and to inspire your heart:
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, WE SHALL BE ALSO IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION:"
Romans 6:4-5, KJV
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Romans 8:29, KJV
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, WE SHALL ALSO BEAR THE IMAGE OF THE HEAVENLY."
1 Corinthians 15:49, KJV
"WHO SHALL CHANGE OUR VILE BODY, THAT IT MAY BE FASHIONED LIKE UNTO HIS GLORIOUS BODY, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
Philippians 3:21, KJV
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is."
1 John 3:2, KJV
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved [meaning our physical body], we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."
2 Corinthians 5:1-4, KJV
As Jesus explains in the previous set of verses taken from the Gospels, the truth of the matter is that our Salvation is actually two-fold. That is to say, it requires both the resurrection of our bodies, as well as the Salvation of our souls, or spirits. The Lord made it clear that His Blood was shed for the remission of our sins. As I explain in a number of other articles, from the pages of the Old Testament, to the very end of the New Testament, we are told that without the sacrificial shedding of blood -- first, by way of the sacrificial lamb or goat in the Old Testament; and then by way of Jesus Christ who is God's sacrificial lamb in the New Testament -- there simply can't be any remission of our sins. We are repeatedly informed that it is Christ's Blood alone, which was shed on the Cross at Golgotha, which cleanses us from sin. We must be washed in the Blood of the Lamb of God. For it is Christ's Sacrifice alone which propitiates -- or pleases and gains the favor of God -- as is made so evident by the following set of verses:
"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."
Hebrews 9:22, KJV
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
1 John 1:7, KJV
"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
Revelation 1:5, KJV
"And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Revelation 7:14, KJV
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."
Ephesians 2:13, KJV
"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."
1 Peter 1:2, KJV
"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his [Jesus'] blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"
Romans 3:25, KJV
"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 John 2:2, KJV
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
1 John 4:10, KJV
Throughout His brief three-year ministry, Jesus preached this same message of Atonement and Salvation over and over again, in which His own coming Sacrifice played a central role. For example, in John chapter six, we find Him again prophesying His own death, in order that we might obtain forgiveness for our sins, and Eternal Life as well. In John chapter ten, the Lord compares His approaching death to a shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. And in John chapter fifteen, Jesus describes the extent of His and His Father's great love for humanity. Consider the following group of verses:
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."
John 6:51-53, KJV
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
John 10:11, KJV
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13, KJV
Turning to the Gospel of Luke, we again find Jesus speaking privately to His Disciples during His last Passover feast with them. In this case, He again informs His followers of His approaching death on the Cross, and the Atonement which must be accomplished through Him, as we see here:
"For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end."
Luke 22:37, KJV
In this particular case, Jesus is actually quoting from the Prophet Isaiah, who in the fifty-third chapter of his Book, describes the sufferings of Christ and His ultimate victory over death. From reading his writings, it becomes readily apparent that Isaiah was very much in tune with God's Plan regarding the Salvation of humanity. He knew that healing would come, and that forgiveness of sins would come, when the Lamb of God was counted amongst sinners -- that is to say, amongst the transgressors of the Law -- and crucified on a Roman cross. Consider the following verses. I have included chapter fifty-three in its entirety, because it is just so wonderful, and so prophetic:
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Isaiah 1:18, KJV
"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
Isaiah 53:1-12, KJV
If there is one thing which becomes clear from the Gospels, it is that Jesus had a world vision. He knew full well in advance that His death on a Roman cross -- that is, being "lifted up from the earth" -- would result in forgiveness, redemption, liberation and Salvation for all men everywhere, if they would only believe in Him, and accept His loving Sacrifice as the only valid Atonement for their sins. That Jesus had such a global vision is made evident by verses such as the following:
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
John 12:32, KJV
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
John 3:16-17, KJV
"For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world . . . I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
John 6:33, 51, KJV
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15, KJV
"As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world."
John 17:18, KJV
"Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."
John 18:20, KJV
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
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