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Jesus paid a price for our rescue.

He didn’t pay it to anyone, but rather it came from Him. It’s similar to saying, “I won the race, but I paid a price! I hurt all over!”

The word translated “ransom” carries the idea of rescue. The Greek is lutron; something to loosen with, a redemption price. The English, ransom, means deliverance, liberation, release. This is what Jesus read from Isaiah 61 when He began His ministry. [Luke 4:18 – 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,(KJV)]

Ransom is not always a monetary price paid to a captor. It can be the act of liberation and the work or action required to accomplish it.

We are rescued!

Hosea 13:14: “I will RANSOM them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction!” (KJV)

The Greek word, antilutron, means “an equivalent, corresponding price.” This concept of a corresponding price is part of God’s way. It is expressed in Israel’s Law Covenant: Thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, (Exodus21:23-24).

Jesus gave His life for all lives that came after Him. [(1 Corinthians 15:45) JKV – And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.]

And: [(Rom 5:18) J.P. Green’s Literal Translation – So then, as through one deviation it was toward all men to condemnation (the Greek basically means “into all humans came the adverse sentence” ), so also through one righteous act toward all men to justification (acquittal) of (into) life (for all). (Amplification added)]

All humans, including Adam, die. That was the cost of his deviation/hamartia after disobeying God’s instructions – being denied the fruit of the tree of life. 

Jesus came and paid the cost so that by faith in Him, all can have eternal life, which the tree of life in the Garden represented. Jesus is also the new tree of life.

We do not live under the Mosaic law (and Gentiles never did) but rather live in the grace/unqualified favor and divine influence on the heart, given to us by God.

Jesus made a new covenant, or testament, sealed by his own blood (an ancient concept since before Abraham). It is a testament, and for a testament to be in force, the testator must die. It is also a covenant.

[Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. 18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.]

Since Jesus is the fulfillment of all things foreshadowed by the Old Testament, He is both testator and mediator of the new covenant.

Mt 3:15 – But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

Mt 5:17 – “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

Heb 9:15 – And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Jesus is the covenant maker, and He is the mediator (because He rose from the dead and a mediator must be living). Only God could do such a thing.

In Jesus, we are in eternal covenant with God and have assurance of grace/unqualified favor. Just as He is both the offering and the mercy seat, He is all to us and fulfills all requirements for our reconciliation to God.

We do not have any part in it but to have faith in Him.

The new covenant  has less to do with “sin” but everything to do with grace and mercy – and the love nature of God. Our human nature, our tragic flaw, our frailty that causes us to miss the mark, that is what made the new covenant necessary, but God is not mad. Big difference. It was all part of His plan from the foundation of the earth.

Guilt has no part in us, for neither Jew nor Gentile are under any obligation to the vanished-away law. Our obsession with sin is misplaced.

We don’t have to understand the Old Testament and all those laws, or feel guilty. We are his creation, and our human condition in Adam has caused us to deviate from the path, to miss the mark, and we cannot share in the prize of life unless we trust Him to get us there.

We can stay in our messed-up state, or we can be changed.

All Jesus says is to come. If we already have trusted Him, we are free to know God as our Papa, and Jesus as our Brother and Friend. That is why the message of Jesus is called the good news. Lift your hands and praise Him!

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What about God’s wrath? What about how He hates sin and can’t look on it?  Didn’t God turn His face from the Son on the cross?

This is once again a translation problem. The word, orge, can mean strong/violent desire or passion, ire, anger, indignation, or lastly by implication, punishment. So we have in John 3:36, (The Amplified Bible) And he who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life. But whoever disobeys (is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to) the Son will never see (experience) life, but [instead] the wrath of God abides on him. [God’s displeasure remains on him; His indignation hangs over him continually.]

The scripture says that any who do not believe are already under the sentence of death/condemnation. Wrath is not the best choice for orge, in light of what we know, which is that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son to save it. It may help to realize that Jesus is the representation of the Father, and that He was never angry at those who were, as is usually translated, “sinners”. He was only angry with hypocrites – pretenders, who said they served God but did not know Him or recognize the Son.

As for saying God can not look at “sin”,  Jesus looked at it all the time.

He ate with “sinners”. Remember, Jesus represents God the Father to us. The idea that God can’t look on “sin” comes from an Old Testament passage that is misunderstood. Isaiah 59:2 is talking about how depraved Israel had become. But their depravity hid His face from them, not the other way around. (The Amplified Bible) But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

In Habakkuk 1:13, the writer says that since God’s eyes are pure, why is He looking at those who are doing evil? (The Holy Bible, New International Version®) Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

So, doesn’t God punish “sin”? Well, quite frankly, the only scriptures that speak of this are in the Old Testament and refer to things Israel did. The word “punish” does not appear in the King James Version with regard to sin, except in the New Revised Standard Version, and some other less known ones. Since Jesus bore our “sin” and since He did away with the old law by establishing the New Covenant, the evidence says, “No, God does not punish “sin”. He removes it.

Let’s not leave out what Jesus said on the cross. [(King James Version) Matthew 27:46 – And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?]

Jesus is quoting the beginning of Psalm 22. He was weak and dying – but the beginning was all He needed in order to make His point. Also, it was rabbinic tradition to quote one line, when the whole was being referenced – and sometimes the passages that came before as well as after. (Jesus did the same thing when He began His ministry by reading from Isaiah in the temple.) This is a Messianic prophecy by the psalmist, David. Read the entire psalm and you will see that God did not really forsake Jesus on the cross!

God did not forsake His Son!

Jesus was quoting the Psalm with His last remaining strength to confirm that He was Messiah. Those who were there that day would have understood it in this manner. It is we who are confused.

What about the darkness on the earth when Jesus died? Well, consider this. The Greek word translated “glory” is doxa and means an opinion, judgment, or view. The equivalent Hebrew word also indicates honor. Doxa as used in the New Testament also indicates splendor, brightness, majesty, exalted, etc. The idea of glory always being light does not tell the whole story however. Consider this:

Exodus 14:19-20. (KJV) And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

I think that the world saw only the darkness, but God rose in glory in the Son. He never leaves or forsakes us, and neither did He forsake Jesus. He did not look away, but covered Him. God brooded over Him…….

A further aside is in regard to the Jewish idea the shekinah glory – the visible manifestation of God’s presence. God spoke to them out of the dark cloud. And some believe that the shekinah in the Holy of Holies appeared as a deep darkness. [I Kings 8:12-13 Then Solomon spoke: “The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud. I have surely built You an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever.”] This suggests that over the mercy seat, where the presence of God dwelt, it may have been darkness to the eyes of men. Who knows?

Jesus was not made to be sin. He came in hamartia flesh: (The Amplified Bible) Romans 8:3 – For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [ the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [ subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],

He was actually the sin offering. [2 Corinthians 5:21(The Complete Jewish Bible) God made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God’s righteousness.”] All transgression of the law was laid on Him, in other words. He carried it, as the last sacrificial lamb. Then, as the scapegoat, He was crucified outside the city/camp, and took both our mess and Israel’s offenses away. Forever. Gone. Finished.

In the song, “In Christ Alone” (2002, Keith Getty) try substituting the word “wrath” with the word “love”.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of LOVE and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save


‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The  LOVE of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live!

It wasn’t hamartia that was nailed to the cross with Jesus. [Colossians 2:14 – Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;] The Greek word for “ordinances” is dogma, and means doctrine, decree, rules and requirements of the law. This is not about missing the mark, but about the end of the old law.

Because we are human, we do hamartia. We cannot keep any law or rule perfectly.  With the law nailed to the cross with Jesus, it is no longer in effect. And actually, the law was for the Jews, not Gentiles – which most believers are.

However there is a sense in which “sin” was nailed to the cross. Jesus came in the flesh, and He was crucified. [(The Darby Translation) Romans 8:3 – For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent his own Son, in likeness of flesh of sin, and for sin, has condemned sin in the flesh,] Jesus died in the flesh. Hamartia is the failure of the flesh. He remedied human failure and we are rescued.

Hallelujah!

What if we had the idea of sin all wrong?

What if the word “sin” itself was a bad translation? These are some of the questions that I asked as I began to study my Bible, and some of the original Greek words, in regard to sin.  As God shed light on first one passage, and then another, and another, the things I found changed how I viewed my Christian life.

If you are willing to have your Christian walk forever changed, made simpler, made better, then this is for you.

Paul writes: (The Darby Translation) Phil. 3:14 – I pursue, [looking] towards [the] goal, for the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus. The culture in his day was influenced by Greece, and by Rome. Athletic contests were well understood. The winners received shared a prize, as we see today in professional sports – especially in horse racing.

The word translated as “sin” is a Greek word, hamartia (ham-ar-tee-a), which has quite a different meaning than we may think it does.

It means to miss the target and so to fail to share in the prize. It also means to stray from the path, to err, to have frailty, or have a tragic flaw.

The Hebrew has a comparable term that has been translated as “sin”. It is the verb chãtä‘, from which the noun chëta‘ is derived, and is easily researched.

The English word, “sin”, the root is Old English. It was syn(n); an offense or misdeed. It is akin to the German sunde, and the Latin sons which means “guilty”.

You may be asking why hamartia was translated by using the word “sin”. I have not found a translation, with a couple of little known exceptions, which does not use the word “sin” for hamartia. It seems that by the time the texts were translated out of the Greek, the idea of guilt, moral weakness, and disobedience to God, had influenced the thinking of the translators.

I began to cross out the word “sin” in one of my Bibles, and write in “error” or “missed” or “frailty” or “flaw”. I’ve come to prefer “deviate” or “deviation”. Try it for yourself.

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (King James Version) [“come short of the glory of God” is literally : are wanting of the “doxa” (dignity/glory/honor/praise/worship) of the God] Compare to (The Bible in Basic English) – For all have done wrong and are far from the glory of God;

I like The Interlinear Scripture Analyzer (ISA Basic 2.1.3)  on my computer,which a free download. ISA uses “misses” for sins, “the missing” for sinner, and so on.

I have used any of the meanings listed earlier, depending on the context and what makes the most sense. When “the missing” is used, it follows the Greek where the article “the” also appears in the original text.

When you read it the correct way, you realize that we don’t deserve punishment for missing the mark. And God is not wrathful towards us.

He loves us and sent His Son to rescue us from our plight, for we could never hit the mark and partake in His glory in our flawed state. But Jesus did it. Any who believe in Him will not suffer the result of our “flaw”, which is death, but will have eternal life.

Our flawed nature is our human condition and it causes us to be unable to hit the mark.

Being is a state of hamartia also exacts a price, or wage. That price is death, first pronounced on humanity by God in Eden. But in Christ, who paid the price for us, we are made alive and become the inheritors of eternal life.

What a God! He wants us to share in the prize of His glory!

John says, in 1 John 3:4, that it is the same as being without law. [The Amplified Bible – Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect–being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will).]

If we all are flawed, we cannot keep the law. It is impossible.

James is saying that everyone who practices/lives as one who misses, is therefore guilty of breaking the law (which came to escort the Jews to Christ).

He is not saying the breaking the law makes anyone a sinner. He is saying the opposite.

Jesus kept the law and died as one who was innocent, thereby stopping all mouths, and ending the penalty of death. Hallelujah!

(Note: Continue with Part 2 and 3 – some questions will be answered.)

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