There is a common misconception that Jesus had to experience the suffering and death of each and every person who ever lived. What a horrible and unbearable experience. We know of the poor people, just in our own times, who experienced the horrors of Nazi Germany and the many who are tortured and murdered under Isis. Then there’s the torturing that goes on in various prisons across the world and even in the detention camps run by Americans. Jesus was only on the cross for three hours—he could never have suffered the lives of millions of people in such a short time. Additionally, Jesus’ sufferings would need to equate to a burning hell for all eternity. No, Jesus never experienced all the suffering of every single man. But Jesus did, indeed, pay for our sins!
Thankfully, God’s plan of redemption for the world of mankind is much more loving and kind.
The whole purpose for Jesus coming to the earth was to provide a “ransom”. When we look at the word, we see that it refers to a corresponding price.
The word ransom in Greek is antilutron. Strong’s Concordance defines it as a redemption price: – ransom. It is a compound word anti and lutron. Anti includes the idea of a substitution. Lutron is soothing to loosen or a redemption price. So, Jesus was the ransom or corresponding price.
What exactly was the corresponding price that Jesus paid?
1 Cor. 15:21, 22, “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
1 Cor. 15:45-47, “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is out of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord out of heaven.”
Romans 5:12, 15, 18, 19, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sin…For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many…For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
There is a theme in the scriptures just quoted: Adam and sin contrasted with Jesus and ransom/life. Why is that? Adam corresponds to Jesus, which is another way of calling Jesus the Second Adam, as Paul does in 1st Corinthians.
Adam was created a perfect man, sinless, and a son of God. Who else do we know was a son of God and perfect and sinless? Jesus of course. Do we begin to see how Jesus took Adam’s death penalty as a one to one correspondence?
In God’s law there were sacrifices of different animals to make atonement for the people. But the Apostle Paul tells us that it didn’t release Israel from death because an animal and man are not equal beings. The blood of bulls and goats specifically taught “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22) But animal blood cannot atone for human sin. It is only Jesus’ one sacrifice that was the corresponding price for Adam.
The beauty and simplicity of God’s plan is that Jesus only had to ransom Father Adam (we are all dead in Adam and because of Adam). So by ransoming Adam and being the substitute for him—we can all be alive in Christ. One for one.