Restitution, ransom, and redemption are three words from chapter 21 in Exodus.
We know that Jesus fulfilled the law. He fulfilled the law of restitution, ransom, and redemption.
We read that if a life is lost and someone was responsible for not doing what they knew they should do to prevent it, that person was to be put to death. The specific case here was in an ox killing someone and the owner knew the ox was a problem and had been warned and had not kept it in. If they didn’t know it was a problem, the owner wasn’t to blame. God is fair. But if he knew better, the owner was to blame.
Instead of the person responsible dying, a ransom could be paid to redeem him, to buy him back from certain death and give him life.
In other cases, if an animal’s life is lost, there is restitution. The owner is paid back for their loss. God makes things fair, paying back and dividing evenly. There’s no payback in terms of killing the other person’s animal. There’s no revenge. Just a gesture of goodwill to try and make things right.
Maybe we could describe these types of laws this way: Two wrongs don’t make a right, but love covers a multitude of sins.
We are told that Jesus was given as our ransom. We were sentenced to certain death. He paid the price of our redemption. He paid the price to buy us back from death. He paid with His life.
We don’t have to pay Him back for His life lost. His gift is free.
We certainly should live lives full of gratitude, serving Him and others in love. But it’s not in payment. It’s not owed. No payment is required to buy God’s love. God already gave you His love. God gave you His Son, and Jesus already gave you His love. He gave you the greatest measure of love, which is laying down your life for another.
The cross, rather than how much you do and give to Him, is the measure of His love for you.