On this “Good Friday,” we are mindful that the Cross Work of Jesus included the idea of Redemption.
I Peter 1:18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.
The idea of propitiation and expiation comes from the world of the Temple. The idea of reconciliation comes from the world of the family. The idea of justification comes from the world of the court. The idea of Redemption comes from the world of the marketplace.
In the Cross of Jesus Christ, all of these ideas are present.
In Redemption Christ pays the purchase price required for the buying back of what is properly His own. In the recent past, we still used the word “Redemption” in our everyday dealings in the marketplace. In my own lifetime, I can remember people putting merchandise on layaway only to return later to redeem the product that had put on layaway by paying the redemption price.
The Cross of Christ is the purchase price for the Elect. The blood of Christ is the ransom price paid in our Redemption. If Christ had not paid the ransom price for our Redemption we would have remained captive to God’s just wrath against us.
In the early Church, there was a theory of atonement called “The Ransom to Satan” theory. In this theory, we are Redeemed from Satan and the ransom price is paid to Satan for our release. Later Fathers rightly saw that this gave too much power to Satan and this theory was forsaken by the Church. Later it was better understood that the purchase price of our Redemption is paid by the Son to the Father so that it could be said that
“We are Redeemed by God, from God, for God, to God’s glory.”
Every Redemption has a cost and the cost of our Redemption was the blood of Christ as Peter teaches above. Scripture teaches that the life is in the blood and the blood of Christ was taken as the ransom price for our release. Christ’s blood was shed so that our blood was not required for the payment for sin. (Not that our blood spilled could have met the demands of God since our blood was guilty blood.)
All of this teaches again that Christ died, as the Scripture teaches, on our behalf, in our stead, for us, and in our place.
It is only as we realize how much danger we were in that we can appreciate the cost of our Redemption and the ransom price that was paid in order to effectuate our release from the just wrath of God.
How Good is your Good Friday?