7. Redemption: Christ’s work on the cross for us
Why did Jesus have to die?

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Redemption is a commercial term with several meanings but only one gives us an incredible picture of Christ’s work on the cross for us.

Dig deeper with Josh McDowell as he explains the key concept of redemption and what it means for us.


Why did Jesus have to die?

We read the Scriptures from Romans 3:21-26 (NIV).  In there were two key words.  Remember I said, “Underline those.”  Redemption and Propitiation, in this segment and the next, I want to explain those two concepts.

First is the word Redemption.  The word redemption is a commercial term. It was a term used in the marketplace and often in the slave market.  And there are several connotations to the word redemption in God’s New Testament.

The first simply “to buy out of the slave market.” When you redeem someone, you buy them out of the slave market.

The second one is an emphasis on the price you pay.  In other words, not so much buying them out; it is the price that you pay.

But the third connotation of this word as it is used in the New Testament is that the price you pay to buy a slave out of the market is so great a price that the slave can never ever again be sold into being a slave.

Well that is the way it is used here.  In other words, the price is so great that when God purchased us out of the slave market of sin; we never, ever again need to be sold back into it – the price is so great.

Now picture with me: redemption is Christ’s work on the cross man-ward.  It is Christ’s work on the cross towards us.  He is paying a price so great through His death to buy us out of the slave market of sin that never again do we need to be sold into sin.

But the question is: What does propitiation mean?


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1. What does Romans 3:21-26 say?
2. What are the two key words we were focusing on?
3. Redemption is what kind of term?
4. What are the three meanings for redemption, and which one is used in the New Testament?
5. Who paid the price and what price did he pay to redeem us out of slavery?
6. Can you be sold back to the slave market?


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