Christ's Death: A Rescue Mission, Not a Payment for Sins
Because we don't owe a debt of guilt for Adam's sin, Jesus' suffering wasn't a payment to the Father.
This is not a "ransom" paid to the Father; the Father wasn't holding us captive. It is an offering, but not a payment. Look at it this way. Christ suffered to save us from our sins in the same way a fireman suffers burns and wounds to save a child from a burning home. He may dedicate this courageous act as an offering to the fire chief he loves and admires. He may do it to redeem the child from the malice of the arsonist who started the fire. But his suffering isn't paidto
anyone, in the sense of making a bargain. Likewise, God redeemed His people from the hand of Pharaoh when He rescued them in the Red Sea. But He didn'tpay
Pharaoh anything. He Himself was not paid anything. It was a rescue action, not a business transaction, and our redemption by Christ is the same.
There are some things that developed in Western Christianity that don't appear in this account at all. As you can see, there's no concept that our sins put us in God's debt legally: No idea that somebody has to pay something before He can forgive us. He just forgives us. When the prodigal son came home, the father was already running toward him with his arms open. He didn't say, "I'd like to take you back, son, but my hands are tied. Who's going to pay this Visa bill?"
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