understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will
Now, if Jesus identified his death by crucifixion as a ransom, how can it possibly be a sacrifice? The offender offers a sacrifice, whereas the offended one offers a ransom. One offers a sacrifice to the offended one, whereas one offers a ransom to the offender. One offers a sacrifice for the release of the guilty one, whereas one offers a ransom to secure the release of the innocent one. Or, to put it all together, the evil one offers a sacrifice to the righteous one to deliver the guilty one, but the righteous one offers a ransom to the evil one to deliver the innocent one. So you must recognize that the two ideas are radically contradictory. Both include an offering, but there the similarity stops. Jesus could not have considered his crucifixion to be a sacrifice, because he did consider it to be a ransom, and to think of it as both is to be as irrational as to think of cold as hot, or of up as down. Sacrifice and ransom are veritable opposites!
9 And proceeding from there Jesus saw [a] man sitting at [a] tax-booth, called Matthew, and he says to him: Be following me. And having stood up, he followed him.
10 And it came to pass when he was seated at table in the house that, behold, many tax-collectors and sinners came and sat down at table with Jesus and his disciples.
11 And the Pharisees having seen this were saying to his disciples: Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?
12 But having heard this he said: The healthy have no need of [a] physician, rather those having [it] evil-ly.
13 But go and learn what it means:
I desire mercy and not SACRIFICE.
For I did not come to call [the] just, but sinners.
1 In that opportune-time Jesus went through [a] corn-field on the Sabbath, and his disciples hungered, and began to be plucking the ears and eating.
2 But the Pharisees having seen [this] said to him: Behold your disciples do that which is not allowed to be doing on the Sabbath.
3 But he said to them: Do you not know what David did, when he and those with him hungered?
4 How he entered into the house of God and they ate the shew- bread, which was not allowed for him nor those with him to eat, but only for the priests alone?
5 Or do you not know in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are blameless?
6 But I say to you that here [is] something greater than [the] temple.
7 But if you knew what this is:
I desire mercy and not [a] SACRIFICE.you would not have condemned the blameless.
8 For the son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.
9 And proceeding on from there he came into their synagogue.
10 And behold [there was a] man having [a] shriveled hand. And they asked him saying: Is it allowed to heal on the Sabbath? in order that they may denounce him.
11 But he said to them, What man among you, who will have one sheep, and if this [sheep] fall into [a] pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of [it] and raise [it] out?
12 Therefore [a] man is worth much more than [a] sheep. Therefore it is allowed on the Sabbath to do good.
13 Then he says to the man: Be stretching forth your hand. And he stretched it out, and it was restored healthy like the other.
14 But when they came out the Pharisees took council against him how they may destroy him.
28 And one of the scribes having come to [him] who heard them debating, having seen that he answered them well, asked him: What sort of commandment [is] first of all?
29 Jesus answered that: Here is the first:
Be hearing, Israel, [the] Lord your God is one Lord,
This [is the] first commandment.
31 The second [is] like [it, namely] thus:
You will agape-love your neighbor as yourself.There is no other commandment greater than these.
32 And the scribe said to him: Very good, teacher, in truth have you said that he is one and there is no other beside him.
33 And to be agape-loving him from all your strength, and to be agape-loving your neighbor as yourself is greater than all burnt offerings and SACRIFICES.
34 And Jesus, having seen that he answered thoughtfully, said to him: You are not far from the kingdom of God.
1 Truly truly I say to you, the [one] not coming in through the gate into the sheep-pen but coming up from elsewhere, that [one] is [a] thief and [a] robber.
2 But the [one] coming in through the gate is [the] shepherd of the sheep.
3 The gatekeeper opens [the gate] to this [one], and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls1 his own sheep by name, and he leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice.
5 They will not follow [the voice belonging] to [a] stranger, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.
6 Jesus told them this parable; but these [ones] did not know what it was that he was speaking to them.
7 So Jesus said again, Truly truly I say to you that I am the gate of the sheep.
8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers. But the
sheep have not heard them.
Footnote for "SACRIFICE" : THUO (θυω): `slaughter' or `sacrifice'. This word is used both for slaughtering livestock, and for temple SACRIFICES. It is not the usual word for `kill', which is APOKTEINO (απoκτεινω)
20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons kneeling before [him] and asking something from him.
21 So he said to her: What do you wish? She says to him: Say that these my two sons shall sit one on your right and one on your left in your kingdom.
22 But Jesus answering said: You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to be drinking? They say to him: We are able.
23 He says to them: Indeed you will drink my cup, but to sit on my right and my left, this is not mine to give, but [is] to be given to those for whom it is prepared by my father.
24 And when the [other] ten heard, they were indignant concerning the two brothers.
25 But Jesus having called them said: You know that the rulers of the nations Lord it over them, and they exercise great authority over them.
26 It will not be thus among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you, he will be your servant,
27 And whoever wishes to be first among you, he will be your slave,
28 Just as the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his psyche-life [as] RANSOM for many.
35 And James and John the sons of Zebedee came to him saying: Teacher, we would that whatever we ask [of you], you do for us.
36 So he said to them: What do you want me to do for you?
37 And they said to him: Give to us that one on your right and one on you left may sit in your glory.
38 But Jesus said to them: You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized in the baptism with which I am baptized?
39 And they said to him: We are able. But Jesus said to them: The cup that I drink you will drink, and the baptism with which I am baptized you will be baptized.
40 But to sit on my right or my left is not mine to give, but [is] for whom it has been prepared.
41 And when the ten heard they began to be indignant concerning James and John.
42 And calling upon them Jesus says to them: You know that the [ones] accounted to be ruling the nations lord it over them and the great of them tyrannize them.
43 It is not thus among you, but whoever would become great among you, he will be your servant,
44 and whoever would among you be first, he will be slave of all.
45 For even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his psyche-life [a] RANSOM for many.
Jesus did identify his death (the giving of his life) as a ransom:
MARK 10:45 For even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his psyche-life [a] RANSOM for many.
Jesus would not have given his life as a sacrifice for sin, because, echoing the prophet Hosea, he clearly asserted that God does not desire a sacrifice:
MATTHEW 9:13 But go and learn what it means: I desire mercy and not SACRIFICE. For I did not come to call [the] just, but sinners.
It follows that he gave his life a ransom and not a sacrifice. I have elsewhere explored the implications of seeking to apply both ransom and sacrifice to his death, but here let me very briefly show how, if it is one, it cannot be the other.
1. A ransom is paid to a captor for the release of his captives, whereas a sacrifice is given to God for the forgiveness of sin.
2. A ransom is paid to the evil one -- a kidnapper for example, or to Satan for the release of his captives. A sacrifice is presented as given to God, the righteous one for the forgiveness of sin.
3. A ransom is paid by a non guilty one (the child's parent?). A sacrifice is offered by a guilty one (the sinner).
4. Summing up, we see that:
A righteous one gives a ransom to the evil . . . . . one for the release of captives.
A sinful one . . .gives a sacrifice to the righteous one for the forgiveness of sins.
6. Or, Jesus, the righteous one, gave his life to Satan (the evil one) as a ransom for the release of his captives.
It was his Jewish enemies and the agents of Caesar, servants of Satan all, who extracted Jesus' life from him; therefore it was to Satan, the evil one, that Jesus gave his life for the release of his captives. I can only conclude that, since Jesus described the giving of his life as a ransom, it was not a sacrifice and he was not a sacrificial lamb. The false idea that one can purchase the forgiveness of God by sacrificial offerings will be found, on close investigation, to be of pagan, idolatrous origin. The Hebrew practice of sacrifice instituted by Moses constituted but one major advance beyond the pagan practice, in that they offered their sacrifices to the one God rather than to many. As Jesus affirmed, God desires of us mercy, and not sacrifice.
It is not possible that Jesus gave his life as both a sacrifice and a ransom.