Jesus appeared as the Messiah in whom all the old economy was to be fulfilled. He knew perfectly the meaning of the typical and prophetic testimony; and with that fully in view, knowing that His death was to fulfill the Old Testament types and accomplish its brightest prophetic anticipations, He deliberately uses this term lutron to describe it (); in speaking of His death as a ransom, He also regarded it as a sacrifice, an expiatory offering. The strong preposition used intensifies the idea of ransom and expiation, even to the point of substitution. It is anti, "instead of," and the idea of exchange, equivalence, substitution cannot be removed from it. In , "Take the Levites instead of all the first-born," the Septuagint uses anti, which, like the English "instead of," exactly represents the Hebrew tachath; and all three convey most unmistakably the idea of substitution. And as the Levites were to be substituted for the firstborn, so for the surplus of the firstborn the "ransom money" was to be substituted, that idea, however, being clearly enough indicated by the use of the genitive. Indeed the simpler way of describing a ransom would be with the genitive, the ransom of many; or as our version renders, "a ransom for many"; but just because the ransom here is not simply a money payment, but is the actual sacrifice of the life, the substitution of His soul for many, He is appropriately said "to give his soul a ransom instead of many." The Kingdom of God which Christ proclaimed was so diverse in character from that which Salome and her sons anticipated that, so far from appearing in dazzling splendor, with distinguished places of power for eager aspirants, it was to be a spiritual home for redeemed sinners. Men held captive by sin needed to be ransomed that they might be free to become subjects of the Kingdom, and so the ransom work, the sufferings and death of Christ, must lie at the very foundation of that Kingdom. The need of ransom supposes life forfeited; the ransom paid secures life and liberty; the life which Christ gives comes through His ransoming death.
Besides the passages in the Pentateuch which we have noted, special mention should be made of the two great passages which bear so closely upon the need of spiritual redemption, and come into line with this great utterance of Christ. , "None of them can by any means redeem (padhah; lutroo) his brother, nor give to God a ransom (kopher; exilasma) for him (for the redemption of their life is costly, and it faileth forever)." (The Hebrew gives pidhyon for "redemption"; the Greek has "the price of the redemption of his soul.") No human power or skill, no forfeit in money or service or life can avail to ransom any soul from the doom entailed by sin. But in the triumphant hope is expressed, "But God will redeem (padhah; lutroo) my soul from the power of Sheol." In , "Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom":
God is the speaker, and whatever may be the particular exegesis of the passage in its original application, it surely contains an anticipation of the gospel redemption. This divine eureka is explained in the light of Christ's utterance; it finds its realization through the cross: "I have found a ransom," for "the Son of Man" has given "his soul a ransom for many."
This great utterance of the Saviour may well be considered as the germ of all the apostolic teaching concerning redemption, but it is not for us to show its unfolding beyond noting that in apostolic thought the redemption was always connected with the death, the sacrifice of Christ.