Death is a very uncomfortable subject for most people. When phrases like “the good die young” permeate minds, people would rather reflect on the memory of a life lived instead of the tragedy of a life lost. But as much as we avoid talks about death, this idea is NOT commonly true with Jesus’ death. His death is discussed in detail all over the planet. Movies and documentaries portray it, professors and students debate it. It is one of the most gripping historical accounts known to humanity; a topic most notably discussed by Christians. But why is this death talked about so frequently? What makes this topic of conversation so epic? What is it about a 2000 year old demise that is worth discussing? Let’s examine a few choice words from the man Himself in hopes of finding the answer.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to [give his life as a ransom for many].” (Mark 10:45 NIV)
The New Testament gospels record several accounts of Jesus talking about His death. In the tenth chapter of Mark we encounter Jesus using a discussion about His death to teach His followers about service and sacrifice. The disciples deemed the abusive self serving lordship of those who ruled over the gentiles as glorious. But Jesus teaches them abusing power and authority is sinful and true glory comes from service and sacrifice. He ends this conversation explaining how He came to serve and sacrifice by giving His life as a “ransom for many”.
To be a “ransom for many” means to purchase the freedom of a slave. The truth is we are all born as slaves with sin as our Master. Sin dictates what we do, what we say, what we think, & how we live. There is no way we can ignore the selfishness, greed, pride, lies, hate, rape, racism, murder, theft, and war we experience in our world. These things and so many more are evil, sinful, and a direct result of slavery to sin. This is visible in events like the recent Colorado theatre shooting or all the mudslinging in our country’s current presidential campaign. It can also be seen in our own thoughts and behaviors. Think about it, have you ever had desires you couldn’t control you had to fulfill? Or habits and behaviors that seem unbreakable? Are you most concerned with YOUR pleasure, YOUR comfort, and YOUR happiness? Giving yourself to sex, drugs, alcohol, money, pride, approval, or maybe status because you need these things to be satisfied? From murder to lies to our personal lives, it’s clear we exist in a world that harbors slaves. Without a ransom, slaves will remain slaves forever.
If there is no ransom for freedom, the hope of freedom is lost. The good news is the death debated, questioned, studied, and frequently spoken of purchased freedom. The same demise movies depict and documentaries record gives captives amnesty. The tale of blood made popular by songs and coined in phrases was spilled to free slaves. Jesus, the Son of Man, didn’t come to abuse authority and power. He came humbly to serve and sacrifice, giving His life for our liberation. Any death that impactful is worthy of our conversation. Any demise that epic should not only be talked about but believed and trusted. This two thousand year old story is one of immunity…the story of God becoming man and dying to set us free.
Follow 1st Infantry on Twitter @1st_infantry