Asking who Jesus “paid” his ransom to may be a little like asking who I “caught” my cold from. [01/05/07] Scripture doesn’t specifically answer the first, although we may feel free to explore options; nor does medical science particularly satisfy the second, although it’s customary to place blame.
The Son of God is so holy/wholesome that he could touch disease and not get tainted: can embrace even death, yet bounce back…MORE ALIVE THAN BEFORE! [01/05/07]
If the Devil had read the Bible closer, he would have known that crime doesn’t pay, and that shedding innocent blood is a nasty business with, shall we say, decidedly unpleasant repercussions. He had sufficient warning. He was even well aware that Jesus was the Son of God come to save the world, rather contrary to Satan’s own agenda. But he did not know how. Surely the Lord’s performing of countless healings and demon expulsions rattled Satan’s cage, but continuing on in such a career still could never have brought the magnitude of salvation that God actually intended. It was too little, too slow for too few. (He maybe could have saved Israel from Roman oppression if enough Jews became his learners and started treating their enemies as he did. Maybe. But he out-and-out rejected their way of “peace,” i.e., commandeering the reins of political power. So they dismissed him as Messiah and he lost the popular support required for that kind of takeover.) Even the demons were surprised that he had shown up a bit too early, historically speaking, for a consummate cleanup job. This puzzled them. He dealt with them in a far less than wholesale and thorough manner. What was his career really up to, they wondered.
Jesus’ career was all about revealing his Father’s love and righteousness/justice to the world so as to draw them away from Satan’s control by gentle but highly effective persuasion, even in the face of Satanic backlash and worldly hatred, with all their ugly, painful results.
By allowing Satan to take him down…all the way down, Jesus would be able to stage a glorious COMEBACK! For his wrongful death would both show the full viciousness of Satan along with the sinfulness of sin and unveil the goodness of God beyond anything otherwise imaginable to mortals.
Clever, huh? And all this without so much as laying a finger on the Devil. The old Adversary deceived himself into cutting short the Master’s admittedly irritating career in the hopes of preventing him from his openly announced intention to save the world. Yet Jesus could never have saved the whole world on the trajectory he had been pursuing! Among other diabolical virtues, Satan was impatient to rid himself of Jesus’ aggravating little assault on even this tiny corner of his dark kingdom. After all, there was no telling what twelve “apostles” might do unless he made an example of their revered Leader. And we all know what happens next, although the reason why it “worked” seems to have become needlessly obscure and has caused theologians many a headache ever since the era of the early church. [01/05-06/07]