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Spark Wonder | Ransom Captive Israel

Ransom: noun - a consideration paid or demanded for the release of someone or something from captivity

verb - to deliver especially from sin or its penalty

to free from captivity or punishment by paying a price

- Merriam-Webster

"Protect me! Rescue my life from them!

Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.

May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.

O God, ransom Israel from all its troubles." - Psalm 25:20-22 NLT

"We collapse in the dust,

lying face down in the dirt.

Rise up! Help us!

Ransom us because of your unfailing love." - Psalm 44:25-26 NLT

"He has paid a full ransom for His people.

He has guaranteed His covenant with them forever.

What a holy, awe-inspiring name He has!" - Psalm 11:9 NLT

"Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God.

Redemption does not come so easily,

for no one can ever pay enough to live forever

and never see the grave." - Psalm 49:7-8 NLT

"'Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.'" - Matthew 20:26-28 NLT

"There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity - the man Christ Jesus. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone." - 1 Timothy 2:5-6 NLT

What a beautiful and haunting cry. This is a profound plea, often read in the desperate cries of the Psalmists. Israel was held captive by greed, lust, power, and often physically enslaved by other nations. Sound familiar? This cry is for a Savior, but to fully understand the significance, we have to go back to the beginning of the story to find the reason for our desperate need for someone to ransom us.

We know that the first humans chose their own desires over partnering with God in a flourishing, fulfilling life. They missed the mark and broke their relationship with God. Their choice also broke trust with God and allowed evil to enter the world. The people of God would spend the next several hundred years unable to pay for the consequences of their choices.

This concept is mind-boggling to our modern thoughts and understanding. I found these beautiful videos from the Bible Project very helpful in wrapping my mind around why Jesus even had to come ransom us, make atonement for us. They are each 6 minutes long or less and definitely worth watching.

We are all ensnared by evil. Held captive. Our strongest desires are usually for our own best interests. On our own, we can't make up for the evil that dominates our world. But we have been ransomed. We have been atoned for. Jesus came to rescue us! He took on evil and death, and came out victorious!

We no longer have to live in captivity in our lives, or our thoughts and actions. With the very presence of Jesus in our lives, we are FREE.

That is the hope of this season. Through Jesus, we have the power and righteousness of God within us to overcome evil in our own hearts and lives.

What sticks out to you the most from those videos?

How have you experienced freedom in Christ, perhaps in a way you never thought you would? Freedom from an old, negative thought pattern, or habit, free from judging others, or wanting what you don't have?


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