Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
— Titus 2:14
The word “redeem” used in the verse above is one of the most important words in the entire New Testament, so today I want us to look more deeply into its historical roots. Since Jesus redeemed us, we need to know all the powerful images that are contained in this key New Testament word!
In New Testament times, slaves could be very costly. When a slave purchaser came to the slave market to look for a new slave, he would meander through the aisles of the marketplace, his eyes roaming over all the slaves for sale as he searched for the one he wanted. After pinpointing the slave who seemed to fit his needs, the purchaser was then allowed to inspect the slave’s condition. The purpose of this inspection was similar to that of a test drive when a person is checking out a car before he purchases it. Just as every buyer wants to be sure he’s getting a good product, every slave buyer wanted to check out the merchandise before he put his money on the table.
The inspection included physically beating the slave to see how he responded to abuse, so the purchaser would know how much “wear and tear” the slave could take on the job. The buyer was also allowed to pull open the slave’s mouth and look at his teeth to see if they were rotten or in good shape as he tried to establish the slave’s physical health before making an offer to purchase him.
If the buyer decided to proceed with the purchase after the inspection was complete, it was then time for the next stage of the process — that moment when the slave was put on the auction block. When the auctioneer knew that a buyer really had his eye set on a specific slave, he would take that as a signal to push the price for that slave as high as possible. And if the buyer continued to show interest in that same slave, that would let the auctioneer know he could demand a completely unreasonable price and probably get it!
All of these images are contained in the word “redemption,” which comes from the Greek word lutroo. This is the word used in Titus 2:14, where Paul says, “…That he might redeem us from all iniquity….” This Greek word depicts a person who paid a very high price to obtain the slave of his choice. Once the price was offered and accepted, that slave became his personal property.
However, the word lutroo was used in another very significant way that also has to do with the concept of redemption. At times, a caring and compassionate individual would come to the slave market for the sole purpose of purchasing slaves out of slavery to liberate and set them free! In this case, the payment offered was viewed as a ransom — paid to obtain freedom for slaves.
Because Paul uses the word lutroo to denote the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, it tells us several important things:
- Jesus came into the world, Satan’s slave market, because He was looking for us.
- Jesus knew He wanted us and wouldn’t be satisfied until the purchase was complete.
- Jesus was willing to pay any price demanded to purchase us from the slave market.
- Jesus purchased us with His own blood so we would become His own personal property.
- Jesus paid the price with His blood, purchased us for Himself, and gave us a liberating freedom that can only be known because of His work in our lives!
Our freedom from Satan’s power was extremely expensive. The price Jesus paid for us was the highest price ever paid for a slave. What was the ransom that Jesus paid in order to procure our freedom from Satan’s ownership? His own blood!
This means that the word lutroo in Titus 2:14 conveys this idea:
“Who gave Himself for us, that He might purchase us out of the slave market to become His own personal property — yes, He was willing to pay the ransom price to see us liberated and set free.…”
It was the shedding of Jesus’ own blood that guaranteed our deliverance and lasting freedom from the demonic powers that had previously held us captive. The word lutroo unmistakably means Jesus paid the ransom that set you and me free! He bought us with His own blood! As Hebrews 9:12 says, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
Jesus gave Himself as the ransom to set you free from sin. Someone had to enter Satan’s slave market, so Jesus chose to go. Someone had to offer a price, so Jesus offered to pay the price for your freedom with His own blood. Someone had to finalize the deal, so Jesus willingly paid the price with His own life on the Cross.
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I want to thank You for loving me so much that You gave Your precious blood on the Cross for me. I was so lost and so hopeless, but You came for me — and when You came into my life, everything in me changed. Hope, joy, and peace came into my heart, and today I am completely different from the person I used to be. All this happened because of Your shed blood, Jesus, so today I want to take this moment to thank You for doing what no one else could do for me!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I declare that Jesus’ blood purchased my deliverance and lasting freedom from the demonic powers that had previously held me captive. Jesus loves me so much that He was willing to do for me what no one else was willing to do. He went into the slave market, found me, and bought me for Himself. For the rest of my life, I will live to serve and glorify Him.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. How can you repay Jesus for what He has done for you?
2. Do you have areas in your life where you have allowed yourself to slip back into some kind of bondage? What are those areas?
3. How long has it been since you stopped to really meditate on the price Jesus paid so you could be liberated from Satan’s captivity and the power of sin?