Musings – Ransom from Heaven

Ransom from Heaven

Jesus came to earth to give His life as a ransom for all (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6). This word in Greek is λύτρον ‘lutron’ which is speaking of an exchange given for another for the price of his redemption or ransom. This Greek word is used to translate the Hebrew word פדיון ‘pidyon’ which means redemption, but more literally the girding on of clothes by one who has been redeemed back to an original state. λύτρον ‘lutron’ is also used to translate the Hebrew word כפר ‘kopher’ which means atonement or more literally a protective covering placed over something or someone to cover debt or wrong-doing. This is the essence of Yom Kippur, the covering and redemption of Messiah for the sins of mankind.

In ancient times, the first step of making a blood covenant with another was the exchange of one’s robe or coat with their covenant partner.  This is the theme of Yom Kippur.  Messiah took our garments of sinful flesh (Romans 6:6; Isaiah 53:4-5) that we might have His garments of salvation and righteousness (Isaiah 61:8-10; Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27).  That we might stand before God on judgment day, clean and spotless (Romans 5:2; 14:4; Ephesians 5:27).  It is through His actions and His actions only, that we can escape condemnation (Colossians 1:22, 28).  As a result, we are given the ministry of reconciliation and not of condemnation (2 Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 4:27).  As He died for all, we should no longer judge others after the flesh but look upon them as the Lord sees them (2 Corinthians 5:14-21).

The Biblical Feasts are shadow pictures which are designed to reveal Jesus the Messiah (Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 10:1-17).  He is the Image of God (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:15-16) who is love (1 John 4:8).  Therefore all of the feasts are designed to reveal the love of God.  From the Spring feasts which reveal the sacrifice of the Lord to redeem mankind to the Fall feasts which reveal the future gathering of the redeemed.  They are all about the love of God for mankind and despite our wickedness, He still offers the path of reconciliation.  It doesn’t come by our religious works (Ephesians 2:1-10) or our understanding of His will (1 Corinthians 2:16), it comes by our faith in the work of Messiah (Romans 3:25-31; 8:3-3; 10:3-13; Colossians 2:16-17; Matthew 10:32-33; 1 Peter 1:21).

The theme of love is seen in the Feast of Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement in the reconciliation between man and God that comes through Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:18; Daniel 9:24; Romans 5:1, 10-11; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20-21; 1 John 2:2; 4:10), the Mediator of the New Covenant between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24).

The reconciliation for iniquity prophesied by the Prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:24) comes forth through the New Covenant that was cut at Calvary (Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 9:26; 10:14).  The word for reconciliation used by Daniel is כפר ‘kaphar’ or atonement.  In Greek, the word for reconciliation is καταλλαγή ‘katallage’ which is speaking of an exchange between two parties, very similar in nature to the concept of redemption mentioned earlier.  Again, Messiah took our sins that we might have His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 3:21-26; 8:1-4).  He stands before God Almighty as a continual reminder of that fact, as the people He died for are continually being accused by the adversary, and sadly, by their fellow man (1 John 2:1-2; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:24-25; 9:24).

In that great Heavenly courtroom (Zechariah 3:1) there stands the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10-11), and the Defender (1 John 2:1-2; Romans 8:34; Psalm 109:31).  If believers are no longer condemned because of the work of Messiah, why then do believers continue to condemn other believers?  If He died for all (2 Corinthians 5:14-15), why then do believers condemn non-believers?  Is the Hand of the Lord shortened that He cannot save them as well (Isaiah 50:2; 59:1)?  The Lord desires that all might come to salvation (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:1-6). If we are to have the mind of Messiah, why then do we not seek the salvation of mankind as opposed to their condemnation (Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Peter 4:1-19)?

Messiah humbled Himself, taking up the cross as a service to others that they might not be condemned (Philippians 2:8).  The word for ‘humbled’ in Greek is ταπεινόω ‘tapeinoo’ which is used to translate the Hebrew word ענה ‘anah’ which means to afflict or humble oneself.  This is the word used for the affliction of which believers are called to do on Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16:29-31, 23:27).  Believers are called to humble themselves (James 4:10) and follow in the footsteps of the Messiah by taking up their cross (Mark 8:34-37), not judging others (James 4:10-12; Luke 18:9-15) but seeking to defend them and cover their transgressions (Proverbs 10:12; 17:9; 1 Peter 4:1-2, 8).

Nobody can stand righteous before God with their own works (Romans 3:19, 23; Galatians 3:22).  Our righteousness are garments of filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).  It is only the garments of Messiah that are clean and spotless (1 Peter 1:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:26; 1 John 3:5).  If then we can’t stand before the Lord by our works, why do we judge another because they don’t measure up to our standards of righteousness.  It is only God that can make them stand or fall (Romans 5:2; 14:4).  Our judgment of them is in reality a judgment of Him (James 4:11-12).

As mentioned before, on Yom Kippur/the Day of Atonement, believers are called to ‘afflict’ their beings (Leviticus 16:29-31, 23:27).  The Hebrew word used here is ענה ‘anah’ which literally means to humble oneself and be bowed down.  The word is also translated as to give an answer (Daniel 2:20; 5:17).  ענה ‘anah’ comes from the root word ען ‘an’ which means to watch or look at something intently.  The picture formed here points strongly to Yom Kippur and the judgment day where all will bow down before the King and give an answer or defense for their lives (Romans 14:10-13; 2 Corinthians 5:10).  None can save their own lives, we can only look towards the Messiah who was given to us as the provision for salvation (Isaiah 45:22-23).  There is no room for boasting (Romans 2:23; 3:19, 27; 1 Corinthians 1:29-31).  There is no place for condemning of others (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37; John 12:47; Romans 14:13; James 4:11; 5:9).  There is only place for humbling oneself before the Lord (Philippians 2:10;  Romans 14:10-11; Isaiah 45:23-25).


Related Studies:

Musings –  Yom Kippur – Under the Shadow of His Wings 

Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur

blessing 4



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