I Have Found a Ransom




“If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.”

Job 33:23-24


“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:28


“Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

I Timothy 2:6



Preliminary reading: Job 33; Psalm 49; Isaiah 53; Romans 8.



  1. There is no better subject for preaching than the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins (I Cor 2:2; Gal 6:14).
  2. The greatest drama in the universe is our Creator God’s redemption of His people from eternal condemnation.
  3. God chose various terms (17-20) to describe various facets of salvation e.g. justification, adoption, ransom!
  4. For much more about the facets of salvation.

The Nature of a Ransom

  1. Ransom. A ransom is the price paid to free someone from captivity, to remove a penalty or condemnation, or restore a previous condition (Pr 6:35; Ex 21:30; 30:12; Job 33:24; 36:18).
    1. It is an economic term, in that it describes the price paid to buy back some thing from another.
    2. It is closely related to redemption, which is the action of buying something back from another.
    3. A good illustration and way to grasp ransom is kidnapping and the payment to get a child back.
  2. The kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr. and the subsequent events give a good picture of a ransom.
    1. Charles A. Lindbergh was a great American hero, who in 1927 first flew an airplane solo and nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean, from New York City to Paris. He was only 25 years of age.
    2. To avoid the news hounds that constantly followed him, he built a house on 390 secluded acres near Hopewell, New Jersey, where he would live on the weekends to avoid them.
    3. His 20-month-old son, Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., was kidnapped around 9:00 P.M. on March 1, 1932, from his nursery bedroom on the second floor of the Lindbergh house near Hopewell.
    4. At home with his wife on the night of March 1, the nurse checked the little boy in his bed at 8:00PM, but found him missing at 10:00PM. Charles recalled hearing a sound at 9:00PM, while sitting in the living room with his wife, like an orange crate falling off a chair in the kitchen.
    5. A note was found on the nursery windowsill demanding $50,000 to get the child back safely. The whole nation became involved in this great drama, including J. Edgar Hoover and the president.
    6. On March 16, a baby’s sleeping suit was delivered as proof of having the child, which was positively identified as belonging to the Lindberghs.
    7. Thirty-two days later, on the night of April 2, Charles Lindbergh accompanied a mediator, John F. Condon, who met the kidnapper in a cemetery, where he turned over $50,000 in gold certificates in exchange for a note telling them where the child was being kept. But when the area was searched where the baby was supposedly located, there was no baby to be found.
    8. Seventy-three days later, on May 12, the body was found with a crushed skull and a mutilated and badly decomposed body, a mere four miles from the Lindbergh estate, by a passing truck driver. Quite obviously, the child had been killed immediately after the kidnapping.
    9. The Federal Reserve Bank of NY discovered the first batch of gold certificates on May 2, 1933; and a gas station attendant cashing another one in late 1934 finally helped nab the guilty party.
    10. Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed in New Jersey’s electric chair on April 3, 1936.
    11. This crime and the extended intrigue around it became known as the “Crime of the Century.”
    12. A child’s life was at risk; a ransom was demanded; the ransom was paid; but the child was killed.

The Need for a Ransom

  1. Man was kidnapped from Paradise, if you will follow the analogy, by the devil and his seduction, when our first parents innocently enjoyed the beauty and peace of a world without sin (Gen 3:1-6).
  2. The devil knew exactly what God had said about eating and dying (Gen 2:17; 3:1), so he condemned our parents, our race, and ourselves to death by God’s certain and unalterable holiness and justice.
  3. God further gave a law through Moses to confirm our inability and unwillingness to escape our confinement as joint-rebels with the devil against Him, thus proving our desert of His death penalty.
  4. You confirm your condemnation by sinning greatly every day against your only possible Benefactor!
  5. Consider it! You loved your kidnapper and did not want to leave him (Rom 1:18-23,32; Eph 2:1-3).
  6. David described perfectly even a rich man’s total inability to pay the ransom for another (Ps 49:6-9).
  7. All men are going to die due to sin; only God can ransom His people from the grave (Hosea 13:4).
  8. You will soon stand condemned to the lake of fire, but there is a book of ransom paid (Re 20:11-15).

The Identity of a Ransom

  1. A wonderful passage occurs in Job 33 that describes the role of a minister in preaching God’s grace.
    1. Elihu rebuked Job’s self-righteousness and harsh criticism of God’s dealings with him (33:1-13).
    2. Elihu described three ways God deals with men that is wholly fair and very kind (33:14,29-30).
    3. First, God speaks to men subconsciously in dreams of the night to keep him from sin (33:15-18).
    4. Second, God speaks to men by His faithful ministers, who tell them of Jesus Christ (33:19-26).
    5. Third, God is faithful and just to forgive those who fully repent and confess their sins (33:27-28).
    6. We see three things by “also” in 33:19 and three references to the pit (33:29-30 cp 33:18,24,28).
    7. The ministerial method of God is glorious, and we need to consider it in greater detail for profit.
    8. The description of physical suffering (33:19-22) is both God’s chastening and soul conviction, and it may be explained and elucidated by considering David’s language of guilt in Psalm 51.
    9. The context is not a mere faith healer (33:26), and the outcome is never so dramatic (33:25).
    10. The rare preacher is one who preaches the truth, like Elihu, exalting God and Christ (33:23).
    11. 1God’s ministers save the despairing and hopeless by preaching deliverance and a ransom (33:24).
    12. Job knew full well about his Redeemer, and there is no reason to obscure these words (19:25-27).
    13. The ransom price of Jesus Christ has delivered us from sin, death, the devil, and hell (33:24).
    14. This is the gospel of grace, for a minister’s true graciousness is what he tells of Christ (33:23).
  2. The preaching of the gospel declares the good news of God paying the ransom in Christ Jesus.
    1. The gospel is not the ransom, nor does it activate the ransom; it is only the information or news about the ransom paid by Jesus (Rom 1:11-16; I Cor 1:17-24; II Cor 5:18-21; Titus 1:1-3).
    2. God, for the praise of His own glory, chose to send a Ransom of flesh and blood (Heb 2:14-17).
    3. Though under the curse and condemnation of the law, God sent His Son as ransom (Gal 4:3-5).
    4. John wept much when no one was found to pay the ransom, but Jesus then arrived (Rev 5:1-14).
    5. The message of Jesus Christ coming to ransom sinners is worthy of all acceptation (I Tim 1:15).
    6. There should be no shame in this glorious gospel of glad tidings of good things (II Tim 1:8-12)!
    7. The church is the support of the truth and its incontrovertibly great mystery (I Timothy 3:15-16)!
    8. Carnal Christians prefer praise bands or punk preachers with a motivational mojo (II Tim 4:3-4)!

The Success of the Ransom

  1. What was the ransom? The ransom was the perfect life, death, and burial of Jesus of Nazareth.
    1. It was the perfect substitution of the Lord Jesus Christ in our place under God’s great wrath.
    2. The ransom was the man Christ Jesus, Who was willing to suffer torture and death in our place.
    3. Caiaphas, the enemy of Jesus Christ, actually prophesied of this ransom payment (Jn 11:49-52).
  2. Who paid the ransom? Jesus Christ gave Himself by the design and commandment of God.
    1. While God gave Jesus for us, Jesus obeyed God by giving Himself for us (John 3:16; I Jn 4:10).
    2. He said, “I come to do thy will, O God,” to fulfill and replace animal sacrifices (Heb 10:1-14).
    3. God gave authority to pay the ransom to Christ, to give eternal life to those given Him (Jn 17:2).
  3. To whom was it paid? Jesus Christ presented Himself only to God the Father as the ransom for us.
    1. The ransom price was not given to the devil, for we were never held by the devil, but by God.
    2. The ransom was not offered to sinners, which is contrary to its definition and to the scriptures.
    3. Jesus offered Himself without spot through the eternal Spirit to God for our freedom (Heb 9:14).
    4. There are other places that declare the same truth (Ephesians 5:2; Titus 2:14; I Peter 3:18,22).
  4. Was it accepted? Yes, the ransom price of Jesus Christ was fully accepted by the God of heaven.
    1. A ransom must be accepted to be effectual, for a rejected ransom will lead to a dead prisoner.
    2. But a ransom is only paid to and accepted by the subject, not by the object, God rather the sinner.
    3. The payment must be of the right amount, at the right time, given in the right way, and so forth.
    4. The prophecy given long before had declared that God would accept the ransom (Isaiah 53:11).
    5. Jesus fully knew that His ransom price was sufficient, for He said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30).
    6. Jesus our Ransom took the book of the covenant of God from His hand in heaven (Rev 5:7).
    7. Jesus through fear of God and perfect obedience became the author of our freedom (Heb 5:7-9).
  5. Were the prisoners released? Yes, there is no longer any condemnation to those in Christ Jesus.
    1. Though held captive by the devil, they have been freed by the Ransom Himself (Luke 11:20-22).
    2. There is nothing than can be laid to our charge: we are entirely free to go in liberty (Rom 8:33).
    3. Freedom from condemnation is by obedience of One without their cooperation (Rom 5:14-19).
  6. Has the kidnapper been destroyed? Yes, Jesus Christ came and destroyed the devil and his works.
    1. The kidnapper cannot accuse us to God for death, for Jesus paid off all his claims (Rev 12:10).
    2. The devil held us by sin under the law of God, but Jesus paid Him off (Heb 2:14; I John 3:8).
    3. Heaven is too small for both, so Jesus threw the devil out of heaven (Rev 12:7-10; John 12:31).
    4. As the devil confessed when meeting Jesus on earth, He knows he will be tormented by Jesus!
    5. Satan trembles at the name of Jesus and anyone resisting him in that name (Jas 4:7; Ep 6:10-12).
  7. What did the ransomed do? God freed them legally from all claims and threats without their works.
    1. The one ransomed has little to do with a ransom, which is paid by one to another on his behalf.
    2. Does a kidnapped child need to grasp the ransom payment and accept it to be released? Absurd!
    3. God arranged the payment and acceptance of the payment without any cooperation from us at all.
    4. We had no strength of their own and could not help themselves in any way at all (Romans 5:6).
    5. And not only did we have no strength, we hated the one paying the ransom and the ransom itself, for we preferred the kidnapper and his violent nature over God and life (Rom 5:7-10; Eph 2:1-3).
    6. The second Adam did it all by Himself as the ransom representative of His people (Ro 5:12-19).
    7. Kidnapped sinners participate no more in their release than in the kidnapping of the first Adam.
  8. Can we summarize? Let us review our brother’s Paul statement about Jesus Christ being our ransom.
    1. The text reads, “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (I Timothy 2:6).
    2. Jesus gave Himself to God for us. He did not offer Himself to us to let Him become a ransom.
    3. There is one mediator between God and men, between Judge and sinner, Jesus alone (I Tim 2:5).
    4. Jesus gave Himself for all kinds of men, even those in authority and the Gentiles, as the context and comparable usage shows (I Timothy 2:1-7; 6:10). He gave Himself for many (Matt 20:28).
      1. If we read the whole Bible, we realize He gave Himself for those given Him by the Father (John 6:38; 10:11,28-29; Rom 8:29-39; 17:2; II Tim 1:9; 2:19; Heb 2:12-13; I Pet 1:2).
      2. And anyone He gave Himself for is surely ransomed (Rom 5:19; 8:32-39; Eph 1:3-11; 5:25-27; Heb 9:12; 10:11-14). There is no double jeopardy for those ransomed by Jesus Christ.
      3. Arminians require you to accept Jesus as your personal Saviour in order to be freed from sin and condemnation, as if a kidnapped child must accept the ransom payment in order for the payment to be good! The transactions of condemnation and justification are by imputation!
    5. After the success of His mission, the glorious gospel of the ransom was preached everywhere.
      1. Jesus commissioned His apostles to preach the gospel based on His success (Matt 28:18-20).
      2. Such a message had hardly been heard before, but was now sent everywhere (II Tim 1:9-10).
      3. God was in Christ reconciling the elect by His death, ransoming them from His holy justice, but now He is sending forth the word of freedom and reconciliation (II Cor 5:18-21).

The Effect of the Ransom

  1. An event that occurred under Cyrus the Persian may direct our attention to where it should be today.
    1. The southern border of the Persian Empire had a rebellious tribe under a great chieftain named Cagular, which together had defeated all attempts by military detachments to subdue him.
    2. Finally, the Emperor amassed a very large army, marched to this southern extreme of his empire, surrounded Cagular, captured him, and brought him to the capital for execution.
    3. On the day of his trial, he and his family were brought before the judgment seat of Cyrus.
    4. Cagular, a large and perfect man, with noble and intelligent manner, was magnificent to behold.
    5. Cyrus was impressed sufficiently to consider in himself how he might spare this enemy’s life.
    6. Cyrus asked Cagular, “What would you do should I spare your life?”
    7. Cagular responded, “Your Majesty, if you spared my life, I would return to my home and remain your obedient servant as long as I lived.”
    8. Cyrus then asked, “What would you do if I spared the life of your wife?”
    9. Cagular responded, “Your Majesty, if you spared the life of my wife, I would die for you.”
    10. Cyrus was so moved by the exchange that he freed them both and returned Cagular to his home province to assume the role of governor there.
    11. Arriving home to much meaner surroundings than Persepolis, Cagular reminisced about the trip with his wife.
    12. “Did you notice,” he said to his wife, “the marble at the entrance of the palace? Did you notice the tapestry on the wall as we went down the corridor into the throne room? And did you see the chair on which the emperor sat? It must have been carved from one lump of pure gold.”
    13. His wife could appreciate his excitement and how impressed he was with it all, but she only replied: “I really didn’t notice any of that.”
    14. “Well,” said Cagular in amazement, “What did you see?”
    15. His wife looked seriously into his eyes and said, “I beheld only the face of the man who said he would die for me.”
  2. Forget Cagular! Are you so moved by Jesus truly dying for you that worldly things do not attract?
    1. Paul reasoned that he owed Jesus the rest of his life for saving him from death (II Cor 5:14-15).
    2. Paul appealed to Corinth to give liberally based on what Jesus had given for them (II Cor 8:8-9).
    3. Though often used at weddings, we must better apply love and jealousy to Christ (S.S. 8:6-7).
    4. Are you sensible of your sins, then should you love your Ransom less or more (Luke 7:40-48)?
    5. Think of things dear – relationships far beyond money. Do you love Christ more (Matt 10:37)?
    6. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, how would you answer His questions to Peter (Jn 21:15-17)?
    7. The Ransom’s great love for you, when rightly understood, can fill you with God (Eph 3:14-19).


  1. You cannot activate this ransom as most believe by an act of faith or works, for it has already been fully paid and accepted; condemnation has been lifted from those who have been accepted in the beloved (Eph 1:3-6).
  2. But you can beg the mercy of God and live a spiritually minded life to assure your heart it was paid for you (Matt 7:21-23; Mark 16:15-16; Rom 8:1-9; I Tim 6:17-19; Heb 5:9; II Pet 1:5-11; I John 5:18-19).
  3. Are you thankful for hearing the gracious message of an interpreter, “I have found a ransom”? (Job 33:24.)
  4. Are you thankful the blessed God took matters into His own hands to ransom you from death (Hosea 13:14)?
  5. Are you thankful for the Ransom Himself and committed to living life in service to Him (II Cor 5:14-15)?

For further study:

  1. Lindbergh kidnapping information.
  2. Sermon Outline: The Facets of Salvation
  3. Sermon Outline: Adoption as the Sons of God
  4. Sermon Outline: You Need a Lawyer
  5. Sermon Outline: The Stronger Man
  6. Sermon Outline: Seed of the Woman
  7. Sermon Outline: Psalm 45 – A Song of Loves.
  8. Sermon Outline: The Triumph of Jesus Christ
  9. Sermon Outline: Clothed with Christ’s Righteousness
  10. Sermon Outline: Reversal of Fortune in Christ
  11. Sermon Outline: Ready to Die
  12. Sermon Outline: Christ our Passover
  13. Sermon Outline: The Glory of the Cross. 
  14. Sermon Outline: The Precious Blood of Christ
  15. Sermon Outline: God Commendeth His Love
  16. Sermon Outline: Our Great High Priest