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

The picture of God offering Jesus as a ransom for many is one of the most powerful, illustrated truths in the Bible. So, I want us to lower our buckets down into the well twice, to drink in its rich encouragement.

Today, I want you to remember that you and I, and all humanity after Adam and Eve, were born into captivity – to sin and spiritual death. All of us.
But then one day a messenger hands us a message, a letter as it were (hold it up and open) that said (in my case) – “Dear Nate, today is an amazing day for you. You thought you were trapped here chained to the floor, with nobody rich enough, and who also cared enough, to pay your ransom price of sin and get you out of here. But someone has paid the ransom. I have received the briefcase and it’s all here. In fact, there was way too much included, so here’s a Righteousness MasterCard with an unlimited balance for you, too. Take it, you’re free to go.”

Astonished, we look around, making sure we’re the intended recipient.

“But I haven’t done anything to earn this. I can’t accept it.”

“Well,” we’re told, “this is your only chance, you either take it or leave it…but if you leave it…then you’ll be left in here…until the Day of Judgement.”

“This seems too good to be true, though. Is it a hoax? Is it a joke?”

“It does seem pretty incredible,” comes the reply. “But I checked it carefully…it’s signed in Jesus own blood. I ran the account, and it’s in your name, everything checks out. And I represent God. He never jokes about an eternal human soul.”

I was really given that wonderful message…and one day I took it and walked out of the cell of darkness and into the kingdom of light and life. And nothing and no one can ever put me back in there. 

And one of those notes and MasterCards has been handed to every human being – you, too.

Many have accepted the gift. Even now in your mind you can look down at your letter and remember that day – and all the days of life you’ve enjoyed since that day you were ransomed. And you remember that it was Christ’s body broken for you and his blood given for you, that redeemed your life and set you free. That is what we are to celebrate every time we take communion at church.

On the other hand, maybe you’ve been handed your letter, but you’ve read it and put it back into its envelope and you’ve set it on a shelf in your cell. Or, it’s even possible, that as I’m sharing this truth with you today, it is the first time you have heard these things explained. I am handing you God’s letter telling you that you have been ransomed from your sin and Jesus’ blood was not only sufficient to pay for your mistakes, but a Righteousness MasterCard is yours, too. God will cover any (and there will be many) future mistakes you make. 

I want you to look down at the letter and see your name written there. See your name stamped on the debit card. Then look up at the barred door of your captivity to sin and guilt that stands open. Nothing stands in your way, you can be redeemed today. Don’t put it back on the shelf.