Ransom

Why would teenage girls leave freedom and join up with ISIS?  Why would they willingly give themselves to a group that enslaves and abuses women?  Somebody must have lied to them, told them they would be better off, that their lives would matter, that they would be fulfilled.  Who knows what else?  And they bought it.  They believed the lies.

Suppose they get to Syria and pledge themselves to ISIS: what comes next?  Nothing good.  So, what would happen if these girls realize they’ve made a mistake and want to go back to Mom and Dad?  Almost certainly, ISIS would say, “No, we own you now; your lives belong to us.”   What if the girls have babies?  Those babies would be born into captivity and would belong to ISIS, too.   And what if Mom and Dad wanted to buy their daughter back – how much would ISIS demand in exchange for just one of their lives?  I’m not sure another life would be enough.

This modern day scenario works as a parable to explain how we humans have rebelled, bought into lies, run away from “Home” and have become enslaved and owned by Satan.  He holds us hostage, separated from God and destined for death.

Psalm 49 sums up our predicament:

“No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him— the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enoughthat he should live on forever and not see decay.” (Psalm 49:7-9)

He says, there is no way any of us could pay enough to escape death and attain eternal life.  None of us could pay for anyone else, either.  Nevertheless, this same psalmist was inspired to know this:

“But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.” (Psalm 49:15)

No man can pay enough so God will do it; He will redeem me.  God gave that writer a peek and a hint of the most amazing good news!  God will pay the ransom and it will be enough.  As revealed to the prophet, Hosea, God said:

“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death…” (Hosea 13:14a)

Jesus explained that His coming crucifixion would fulfill the promise of God:

“… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”” (Matthew 20:28b)

You can be set free.  You can return to your real “Home.”  You can escape death.  Here is the deal:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Quotes: The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

 

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