- ransoming the captive is actually a ministry of ransoming the captor (who is revealed as most captive of all), and how
- ransom is not paid to captors but rather embodied by us, as we who have been set free in Christ lay down our lives for captors in a re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ, and how
- all ransoming is a Work “outside the frame”–that is, rather than negotiating with terrorists and pimps and prison guards and hostile political forces according to the rules of their game, ransoming is an invitation and an invocation to God himself to manifest according to his rules and his power, and how
- his power is most fully manifest on earth in his love of his enemies and his transformation of their hearts.
In short, as Jay E. Adams puts it, ransoming the captive is always a story of how an enemy of God “disowns the devil, denounces his cause, and deserts his army.”
Now on this firm foundation we get to ask: what does that look like in real life? Remember, Nan is still in the brothel, and whatever strategy we set needs to be applicable to that context.
But the great insight of the Scripture is that God doesn’t have multiple strategies for ransoming captives that vary according to severity of captivity, wealth of ransom-givers, or politics of parties involved. He has just one strategy, and it is equally and simultaneously applicable to the smallest captivities and to the largest, because all ransoming Work is always a re-presentation of the one and only ransom for sin, the Lord Jesus. Or as the Ransom himself puts it:
So we’ll lay out the practical implications of that in the next four posts. To telegraph our punch, we’ll break out the Work of Mercy of ransoming the captive into four practical steps:
- Petitioning to God and Proclaiming to Captors.
Whether it’s Nan in the brothel, Mr. Bae’s parents in the concentration camp, or a custody battle in which one parent refuses to let the other see and spend time with a child, the pattern of the remedy is, amazingly, always fundamentally the same.