Friday, October 17, 2014

Jesus Paid?

People always talk about Jesus "paying" for our sins but the words payment, pay, paid, & pays aren't used directly in scripture with any regard to Jesus, the cross, or salvation.

The language of "ransom" is found a few times in scripture. Ransom could regard buying someone from slavery. Romans 6:20 says, Before we trusted Jesus, "we were slaves of sin." Hosea 13:14 says, "Shall I ransom them from the power of the grave? Shall I redeem them from death?" The word redeem is sometimes translated as ransom & can also mean "buy back." Jesus "paid a ransom" to accomplish what was needed for our freedom. He bought us back from sin & death & the power of the grave.

There is no language in scripture regarding the Father demanding to be paid. God is love & love does not demand His own way. God rescued us from being reaped by sin & death. The Father did not demand we die unless He was paid. God does not desire to be paid a sacrifice (Psalm 40:6, 51:16). Jesus was not a sacrifice to a "holy god" because that god needed to be "appeased" to withhold "wrath." Jesus sacrificed Himself, He "laid down His life for His friends" like someone taking a bullet for you. He "condemned sin in His body on the cross" & "destroyed death and brought life & immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). And of course you don't pay a ransom to a loving father or a loving friend.

Bought with a Price
There are 2 verses that talk about us being "bought with a price."

"You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men" (1Co 7:23). This uses language of Jesus buying us out of slavery.

"You are not your own. For you have been bought with a price" (1Co 6:20). Here it talks about us becoming one Spirit with God & how our bodies are "members of Christ." We are "not our own," not in the sense the God bought us to dominate us as our master, but because we are part of a greater whole, the body of Christ & the Holy Spirit of God.

By "price" I assume it means that Jesus suffered intensely to free us from sin & to defeat death to give us eternal life. But it could also be translated in both places as, "You have been bought with honor."

Bought from who? Most would say from the Father. That Jesus paid the price that the Father demanded for sin. And the only price good enough for the Father was the blood & death of His perfect Son. That paints the Father as the most despicable & the sickest father ever. Nowhere in scripture have I found the idea of God demanding "payment" for sin/disobedience. We were not bought from a father demanding payment as if none of this had to do with love. This wasn't about making an irritable God feel better & cool off. Again Hosea 13:14 says God buys us from the power of the grave.

The idea of appeasement holds that God saved us from Himself making him double minded. God didn't want to curse us, sin/law/Satan/shame wanted to curse us. I hold that God as love "doesn't take into account wrongs suffered" therefore the cross wasn't about God saving man from his own wrath/judgment/anger but from the powers of sin & death.

The Father did not demand we die unless He was paid. Love does not demand payment. God does not desire to be paid a sacrifice. In Psalm 40 & Hebrews 10 God said that He took no pleasure in sacrifices & offerings & in fact He did not desire them.

Jesus wasn't a substitution in the sense that God demanded a sacrifice or in the sense that God wanted to do to us what Jesus suffered.  But He did take our place in suffering under sin as sin desired we suffer.

Our idea of atonement is "making amends for wrong" but the Hebrew word atonement means "to cover" & we know that Christ took our sins away on the cross rather than just covering them.  Do a bible search and see that "atonement" is never related to Jesus in the New Testament.

In the old covenant there was a "sin offering." It wasn't an offering to God to appease Him. Instead it was an offering toward sin (the devil) to keep him from killing people because of sin. Satan had the power of death (Hebrews 2:12-15), the power to kill anyone he wanted to. Jews had to give sin offerings to protect themselves from Satan, not from God. God is always about life & saving lives.

Those sacrifices "covered" sin. Why did sin need to be covered? Because Satan demanded payment for sin, which is death. Covering sin threw Satan off the scent of people's sin (notice OT offerings had scents). In Psalm 40 & Hebrews 10 God said that He took no pleasure in sacrifices & offerings & in fact He did not desire them. That means they weren't for Him. Hebrews 10 says sacrifices could not clean people from sin & that it was impossible for them to "take away sins." If you can't get clean & you have a scent then you must cover up the scent. Satan is described as a lion seeking to devour. While it is easier for lions to hunt by sight & sound they can also hunt by smell. Thus someone who had sinned but was not openly sinning at the moment still "smelled" like sin. God wanted to take sin away so people could be clean & perfect. He eventually did so with Jesus' sacrifice.

Let Freedom Ring
Interestingly these words:
Redeem, forgive, ransom, redemption, save, free, deliverance
all have the potential meanings of:
Set free, save, deliver, rescue, release, liberate

Perhaps God was using a lot of synonyms for the same thing to get a strong point across but we've translated them by their dissimilar meanings.

No comments:

Post a Comment