What exactly did Christ’s death accomplish?
Throughout church history, several different explanations have been offered, some better than others. The ransom theory of the atonement of Jesus is the teaching that the death of Christ on the cross was a ransom paid to Satan. In Mark 10:45, Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”(ESV).
This theory was developed around 200 A.D. and claims that Satan held people captive as a victor in war. Since sin is spiritual bondage to Satan, a ransom had to be paid to set them free. Does this give Satan too important a role in the work of redemption? If this explanation is correct, wouldn’t this make Satan one of the primary benefactors in the work of salvation?
Jesus did see his death as a ransom for many, but to whom was this ransom owed? I look forward to talking more about this on Sunday.