“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45

According to Mark 10:45, Jesus came to serve in order that He may give his life as a ransom for the many; Jesus serves us by becoming a ransom for us. Why is this important? In the original language of Greek, the term ransom can mean “a payment to release someone from some kind of bondage.” This means that Jesus’ service of us is not limited to his incarnation but also surely extends to his death and resurrection. The implication is that Jesus sees his work (incarnation, death, resurrection) as a ransom to release us from a particular type of bondage. He is paying for us what we are unable to pay—we are held captive to this bondage. We are enslaved to the bondage of sin and are left completely helpless to release ourselves.

One of the most fundamental words in this passage is “for.” Since we are unable to release ourselves from the bondage of sin, someone must release us (i.e. ransom us). Jesus gives us his as a ransom for us, meaning that His life serves as the payment for our ransom. We owed a debt because our bondage to sin and Jesus fully fulfills that debt through His work. Our lives were destitute, yet Jesus intervened and substituted himself in our place.

Personal Reflection

  • Why is it so important that Jesus had died for you?
  • Why is the message of Christianity more than mere ethical teaching?

Familial Reflection

  • Have you ever had to buy something important? How does that idea of buying an item relate to Jesus “purchasing” us?
  • How should we live towards one another knowing that Jesus has died for us?
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