I.) The Centrality of the Cross in Christ’s Ministry
We come again to another portion where Jesus takes the Twelve aside and begins to “tell them what was going to happen to Him.” They were going to Jerusalem, and the disciples “were amazed, and those who followed were fearful.” Their amazement and fear are undoubtedly due to the fact they are aware what the leaders in Jerusalem want to do with Jesus; kill Him:
After He proved Himself to be the Lord of the Sabbath, they:
“Immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.”
After He healed a man in Jerusalem on the Sabbath, and equated the work He did to the work of the Father:
“The Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”
The disciples watch in fear and amazement as Christ triumphantly walks ahead into the lion’s den. Like a lamb being led to slaughter.
There is no need to wonder why He continued to go, because in verse 45 He declares that He came “to give His life a ransom for many.” He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to lay down His life for the sheep. He came as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.
What we see here is the centrality of the cross in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Between chapters 8-10, Jesus has plainly spoken four times of the work He would accomplish:
“33 The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles. 34 They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”
There are eight things that will happen:
1.) He will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes.
2.) He will be condemned to death.
3.) He will be handed to the gentiles.
4.) He will be mocked.
5.) He will be spit upon.
6.) He will be scourged.
7.) He will be killed.
8.) He will rise again.
Jesus Christ did not seek to bring political revolution or establish world peace; He came to die in the place of sinful man. He came to bear witness of the truth and give His life a ransom for many.
II.) The Reason for a Ransom
Before we go further, we need to define ransom. Ransom refers to the price that must be paid for redemption to occur and freedom experienced. Redemption means to purchase something, and it is frequently used in the New Testament to refer to those who were slaves. When a person redeemed a slave, they paid the price for their freedom.
Since Christ came to give His life as a ransom for many, that means people need redemption. Since people need redemption, that means that people are enslaved.
The question must be asked:
Q.) What is fallen humanity enslaved to that Jesus Christ chose to pay the price to redeem them?
A.) Sin. Mankind is enslaved to sin, and our sin demands eternal death under the wrath of God.
The Word of God tells us that:
“No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him—8 For the redemption of his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever.”
It is impossible for a person to save themselves, so the Psalmist continues:
“But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol…”
God established the price for our redemption and paid it by Himself to Himself:
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’”
He paid the price to free us from the penalty of our sin, the power it has over us, and one day its presence within us.
One must then consider:
Q.) With what did Christ purchase us?
The Scripture tells us that Christ:
“Gave Himself as a ransom for all.”
“Gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
“You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold…19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
“He purchased with His own blood.”
This ransom was not paid to Satan; it destroyed him; it was paid to God. The prophet Isaiah reveals this:
“But the Lord (Father) was pleased to crush Him (Son), putting Him (Son) to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He (Father) will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He (Father) will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge, the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I (Father) will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.”
Q.) Where was the ransom for sin paid?
Q.) Where was freedom from sin purchased?
Q.) Where was atonement for sin made?
Q.) Where was God’s wrath towards sin appeased?
Q.) Where was God’s justice for sin satisfied?
Q.) Where is God’s love towards sinners displayed?
Q.) Where is God’s mercy for the unholy extended?
Q.) Where is God’s grace for the ungodly seen?
A.) On a cross that is stained with the blood of His only begotten and beloved Son.
III.) The Method of the Ransom
His life as a ransom for many on the cross was not an afterthought, it was the “the hour” He came for:
“23 The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified…27 Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour…32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.”
To be crucified one must be lifted:
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”
Eternal life is only possible if a ransom is paid, and the only way for the ransom to be paid is that the Christ must be lifted up. The cross was the predetermined method through which the ransom would be paid. All of Scripture points to Christ upon the cross as the innocent Lamb dying in the place of guilty man.
After His resurrection He says to two men grieved over what had happened to Him and unaware of His resurrection:
“’Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”
Jesus is the One promised in Genesis, born of the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent, but have His heel crushed in the process.
1.) He is the One spoken of in the Psalms:
“Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”
“For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend; we who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng.”
So, Jesus “began to tell them what was going to happen to Him…the Son of Man will be delivered (betrayed) to the chief priests and the scribes…”
2.) He is the One prophesied about who was:
“Despised and forsaken of men…Oppressed and He was afflicted…Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter…by oppression and judgment He was taken away
So, Jesus “began to tell them what was going to happen to Him… the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death…”
3.) He is the One King David spoke of:
“Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed.”
So, Jesus “began to tell them what was going to happen to Him… the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the gentiles…”
4.) He is described elsewhere in the Psalms:
“All who see me sneer at me; they separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying, commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”
So, Jesus “began to tell them what was going to happen to Him… the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the gentiles. And they will mock Him…”
5.) Isaiah speaks of Him when he says:
“I gave My back to those who strike Me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.”
So, Jesus “began to tell them what was going to happen to Him… the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the gentiles. And they will mock Him and spit upon Him…”
6.) Isaiah also says of Him:
“His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men.”
So, Jesus “began to tell them what was going to happen to Him…the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the gentiles. And they will mock Him and spit upon Him, and scourge Him…”
7.) The Scripture reveals of Him:
“For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet.”
“He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed…and as for this generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due?”
“They will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”
So, Jesus “began to tell them what was going to happen to Him… the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the gentiles. And they will mock Him and spit upon Him, and scourge Him, and kill Him…”
Jesus took His twelve disciples aside to tell them what was going to happen to Him. The Son of Man will go just as it is written of Him. He came to do the will of His Father by giving His life a ransom for many. The cross was the instrument by which our redemption was purchased. He laid aside His divine privilege by humbling Himself and becoming a man obedient to the point of death on the cross. All to redeem a lost people, and to reconcile them back to God.
IV.) The Validation of the Ransom
Jesus tells them what must happen to Him when He goes to Jerusalem, and all four gospel accounts confirm that it did happen; Jesus was:
1.) Betrayed by a friend to the Chief priests and Scribes for thirty pieces of silver.
2.) Condemned to be deserving of death by them.
3.) Given over to the gentile Governor, Pontius Pilate because they were not allowed to execute people.
5.) Spit Upon.
7.) Killed via crucifixion.
Before He breathed His last breath He said:
God proved to all mankind that the blood of His Son was an acceptable payment for our sin by raising Him from the dead three days later. After all, Jesus said:
“The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the gentiles. And they will mock Him and spit upon Him, and scourge Him, and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”
This too was in fulfillment of the Scriptures:
“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
“If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will proper in His hand.”
The gospels do not leave Christ dead and in the grave, because the Old Testament reveals He would rise again. By the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, Christ was nailed to the cross at the hands of godless men and killed, but God raised Him to life.
1.) God established the ransom price.
2.) God paid it Himself with His blood.
3.) God proved it was paid by raising Himself.
He truly saves us from Himself, by Himself, through Himself, and to Himself:
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”
V.) Living For our Redeemer
We serve an awesome God who is worthy to receive all power, and riches and wisdom and might and glory and blessing. Christ is worthy of such praise, for He was slain, and purchased for God with His blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
We should ask ourselves:
Q.) How do we as believers live considering this?
A.) Serve Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength for your life is not your own:
“For you have been bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body.”
You have been freed from sin and enslaved to the one who purchased you, God. Present yourselves as slaves of His righteousness, and worship Him as living sacrifices, because of His love towards you. We love Him because He first loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation of our sins.
We should then ask:
Q.) What about those who do not believe, what should they do after considering this?
A.) Do not neglect so great a salvation.
If God did not spare His own Son to save His people, He we will not spare those who consider the Son of God as worthless and His blood useless. Realize you are enslaved to sin and destined to eternal destruction under God’s wrath, but God in His love has given His Son. God freely offers forgiveness for sins and eternal life to all who turn from their sin and trust in the Person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ:
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
He will save you by His grace through your faith in His Christ alone. Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart; repent and believe the good news of Jesus Christ!
I want to end again by reading the lyrics of a hymn that embodies everything that has been spoken of this morning; I Will Sing of My Redeemer:
“I will sing of my Redeemer
and his wondrous love to me;
on the cruel cross he suffered,
from the curse to set me free.
I will tell the wondrous story,
how my lost estate to save,
in his boundless love and mercy,
he the ransom freely gave.
I will praise my dear Redeemer,
his triumphant power I will tell:
how the victory he gives me
over sin and death and hell.
I will sing of my Redeemer
and his heavenly love for me;
he from death to life has brought me,
Son of God, with him to be.
Sing, O sing of my Redeemer!
With his blood he purchased me;
on the cross he sealed my pardon,
paid the debt, and made me free.”
If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
 Mark 3:6
 John 5:18
 Isaiah 53:7
 Mark 10:45
 Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10
 John 10:15
 Revelation 13:8
 Matthew 20:28; John 18:37
 Psalm 49:7-8
 Psalm 49:15
 Galatians 4:4-5
 Galatians 3:13
 1 Timothy 2:6
 Titus 2:14
 1 Peter 1:18-19
 Acts 20:28
 Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8
 Isaiah 53:10-12
 John 12:27-33
 John 3:14-15; Cross Reference: Numbers 21:6-9
 Acts 2:22-24
 Luke 24:26-27
 Genesis 3:15
 Psalm 49:1
 Psalm 55:12-14
 Isaiah 53:3,7-8
 Psalm 2:1-2
 Psalm 22:7-8
 Isaiah 50:6
 Isaiah 52:14
 Psalm 22:16
 Isaiah 53:5,8
 Zechariah 12:10
 Mark 14:21
 John 10:18
 Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 26:14-16,23; 27:3,6-10; Mark 14:44-46
 Mark 14:64
 Mark 15:1; John 18:31
 Mark 15:16-20
 Mark 14:65; 15:19
 Mark 15:15; John 19:1
 Matthew 27:32-38; Mark 15:21-28; Luke 23:26-24; John 19:17-24
 John 19:30
 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number: 5055
 Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18
 Psalm 16:8-11
 Isaiah 53:10
 Romans 11:33-36
 Revelation 4:12
 Revelation 4:9
 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
 Romans 6:22
 Romans 6:19; 12:1
 1 John 4:10
 Hebrews 2:3
 Romans 8:32; Hebrews 10:29
 Romans 10:9
 Acts 4:12
 John 8:36