Jesus described his role in rescuing humankind from deadly enslavement to sin. He said: “The Son of man came . . . to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28, King James Version) How does Jesus’ life serve as a ransom? How does his death benefit us?
The Bible describes Jesus as being “without sin” and “separated from the sinners.” Throughout his life, Jesus perfectly obeyed God’s Law. (Hebrews 4:15; 7:26) Jesus’ death was, therefore, not the consequence of sin and disobedience as was Adam’s. (Ezekiel 18:4) Rather, Jesus accepted a death that he did not deserve in order that he might carry out his Father’s will to rescue mankind from sin and death. As stated above, Jesus willingly came “to give his life a ransom.” With love unmatched throughout history, Jesus willingly ‘tasted death for every man.’—Hebrews 2:9.
The life that Jesus sacrificed was an exact equivalent of the life that Adam forfeited when he sinned. What was the result of Jesus’ death? Jehovah accepted that sacrifice as “a corresponding ransom for all.” (1 Timothy 2:6) In effect, God used the value of Jesus’ life to buy back, or redeem, the human race from slavery to sin and death.
The Bible repeatedly mentions this great act of love by man’s Creator. Paul reminded Christians that they “were bought with a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23) Peter wrote that God used, not gold or silver, but the blood of his Son to deliver Christians from their death-bound way of life. (1 Peter 1:18, 19) With Christ’s ransom sacrifice, Jehovah arranged to rescue humans from the destiny of eternal death.