18 ¶ The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
For the Ancient Hebrews the application of this verse literally is clear. Just as Haman was caught in his subtlety trying to kill Mordecai and Sennacherib was thwarted in his attempt to conquer Jerusalem and then murdered by his own children so God can arrange it that those who come up against Israel shall themselves pay the price they were trying to exact from the Jews.
But for us today it is interesting to note here that the Lord Jesus Christ became sin for us.
2Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
God is composed of three parts; God the Father, the soul of God, the locus of His Will. Then, there is God the Holy Spirit, which, of course, is His Spirit, actively pursuing His Will. Then, there is God the Son, the Son of God, who is God’s visible image, His physical body. God the Son, came to earth to be born of a woman and to live as a man, the Son of man, to pay the penalty for man’s sin against God, which man was not able to pay. On earth He was fully man and yet also fully God. The phrase “only begotten Son” refers to the fact that this only happened once in human history.
Alexander the Great had himself declared the Son of God in Egypt but he was a liar. Octavian, Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1), signed his official documents with initials stating that he was the Son of God after a comet was declared by him as being the spirit of Julius Caesar, his adopted father, rising to heaven, but he, too, was a liar. The simple Jewish virgin, Mary, in giving birth to the God/man in her obedience, accomplished something unique in history although many others had made the claim as Satan counterfeited the prophecy made in the Garden of Eden.
(We are also composed of three like parts, as per 1 Thessalonians 5:23, although, since we are not God our body, soul, and spirit cannot function separately. If our soul or spirit are disconnected from our flesh we will die a physical death.)
The ancient Hebrews were to give a ransom for their souls to God (Exodus 30:12). But no man can redeem his brother (Psalm 49:6-8). But, Jesus Christ, being God, was able to give Himself, His physical life, as a ransom to God the Father for us.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
What’s important to you is what you’re going to eat, what you’re going to wear, where you’re going to sleep tonight, and what kind of entertainment you’ll be entertained with today. You are concerned perhaps about finding a mate, having a job with some respect and self esteem, and being admired by your peers and family for some reason or the other. Many women want children and many men want a home to come to. But, what God is focused on is a relationship with the focal point of His creation, human beings.
However, since our first ancestor, we’ve been in rebellion against God. Very few people actually want to know anything about God or have anything to do with Him unless we are in trouble physically. It is in our nature since Adam’s day to sin against Him constantly. A quick perusal of the Law, which includes God’s standard of right and wrong, given to the ancient Hebrews, a people He had separated to be His people in a world run by Satan (2Corinthians 4:4) because of man’s sin, will show us that few of us would even attempt to live to the standard for which we were created. A Holy and Righteous God will not have sin in His presence. Something must be done about our sin.
So, in our natural selves, as we are born in the flesh, we are incapable of either pleasing God, having fellowship with Him, or obeying Him. Mankind is inherently, in his flesh, an evil and malicious being totally given over to wickedness. But our Creator loves us and wanted to save us from our natual destination, as we live without wanting anything to do with God, so we would spend eternity in suffering and agony without God’s mercy and blessings, first in a Hell that He had prepared for rebellious spiritual beings; Satan and the angels who followed him, and then finally in an eternal lake of unquenchable fire in a transformed body that would never die and experience endless suffering. He wants us with Him. It is His will that all men be saved. He had no desire that anyone perish.
So, rather than we, who are unwilling and unable to pay the penalty for our sin against our Creator, God Himself came and paid the price for us; a perfectly sinless man obedient in all things to God the Father, judged, tortured, and executed by us, dying for our sins, on the brutal Cross at Calvary. And it is only by our acknowledgement of what He has done for us and our trusting in its ability to save us from our natural destination that we can be saved. We must believe that Jesus Christ was who He said He was, God, and that He died for our sins, and that He rose from the dead, the only man in history to have the power to raise Himself from the dead. By looking at that, believing in it, and trusting in that we are saved. It is by Christ’s righteousness, perfect and complete, that we are saved, trusting in Him to get us to a Heaven with God for eternity. There is no other way.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
So, He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He became, on the Cross, the wicked and the transgressor, something He had never been, so that we could become the righteous and upright, something we have never been, by virtue of His Spirit living in us after being born a second time, born again in the Spirit, when we believed and trusted in Him.