“Do not be afraid. For I proclaim to you a great joy, which will be for all the people. For today a saviour is born for you: in the city of David: he is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2: 10- 11). Why has Jesus come to this world as saviour? Who has enslaved the mankind? Why we are in need of a savior? Why is His birth a good news to all?
To have an answer to these questions we have to refer to St. Augustine: the church father. He said that the Heavenly Father has seen that His people are enslaved and persecuted (2Tim 3:12---- all will be persecuted and Jn. 15:20 ----those who persecute me will persecute you) by satan and his demons. Therefore, Father God asked satan to release mankind from his slavery. But satan said, ‘if you give me good and sufficient price, I will make them free.’ Then God did ask satan, ‘What do you want as price?’ Satan said, ‘I want the destruction of the second person of the Holy Trinity.’ God the father agreed and accepted it and sent Jesus, His Son, to this world in order to be destroyed and to take away all human sufferings and to put them in His(son’s) body willingly (Treaties on Holy Trinity by St. Augustine).
Human beings and all creation in this world are under the bondage since the time of the sin of the first parents who were cheated and enslaved by satan. Therefore satan has an acquired right to torment people and all creation which God has given to them (CCC 407). According to this principle, satan has the acquired right to persecute all people who are the offspring of Adam and Eve. Because when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and accepted satan as their new master, legally they and their descendants became slaves to satan.
Therefore somebody has to come and cancel this acquired right and rescue the creation. But in an illegal way this cancellation is not possible because of the principle of justice. Justice means to give what is due to each. Therefore somebody has to bear all these persecutions on his body. Who is able to do it? None of the human beings are able to do it. Because all persons are slaves of satan. Slaves cannot give ransom to the master, somebody else to do it. As even the ransom of the slaves belong to the master. So Jesus, who is not a slave of satan and not a son old Adam and Eve, is the only one eligible to bear all persecutions on His body and cancel the legal right of satan and rescue the whole creation. This is good news for all. To experience the good result of this salvific suffering (Act) of Jesus, all should repent of their sins and give them up. And all the more, all should believe in this meritorious death of Jesus. Then it will be good news for you and me. Therefore Jesus invited everyone to repentance and faith (Mk.1:15).
Human miseries are many, which do not come from God (Vat II GS 13 and cccc 72). But God allows miseries and sufferings to bring something good out of these misfortunes (CCC 312). As the compendium of the catechism of the Catholic Church (cccc) says that God is in no way directly or indirectly the cause of suffering or evil in this world (cccc 57). Therefore the catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states that the miseries of the mankind elicited the compassion of Jesus and He took all these miseries upon his own body and rescued everybody from their miseries (CCC 2448). Therefore Christ is a substitute for all human beings (CCC 615) and A ransom for all (Mt 20:28)
The incarnation of Jesus is the eternal plan of God even before the sin of Adam and Eve. Even if man had not committed sin Jesus would have come to this world, because God desires to be with His people as one among them, because God does love His people (1Jn. 4: 8 &16). God’s compassion does compel Him to be with His people whom He loves. He is Emmanuel: God is with us (Mt.1:23). Satan got jealous over it as St. Augustine relates. Satan demanded out of his jealousy, hatred and pride, the destruction of the physical body of Jesus (St. Augustine). Therefore, satan wanted to destroy the plan of God, of the eternal physical and bodily presence of Jesus amidst man and satan succeeded in it by tempting Adam and Eve. Therefore, the sin of the world made Jesus’s incarnation miserable. Jesus would not have had to suffer or die if Adam and Eve had not committed sin. So Jesus suffered, died and is raised. This Risen Christ is present eternally in the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore the plan of God to be with His people eternally is fulfilled in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus in the consecrated bread.
Jesus said “I have come to this world not be served but to serve and offer my life as ransom for many” (Mt: 20:28). What is ransom? It is an amount or something which is demanded for the rescue of somebody who is in illegal custody of another. How does Jesus become a ransom? As it is written in the book of Revelation Jesus ransomed and purchased people for God from every nation, tribe and languages (Rev 5: 9-10). You are purchased with a price (1 cor 6:20). For example: one Indian ship and forty hostages fell into the illegal custody of Somalian pirates. They demanded twenty million US dollar as ransom. The Indian Government paid the ransom and rescued the ship along with the hostages. This is the act of ransom. Jesus was incarnated in this world to become a ransom.
When Adam and Eve committed sin, they and their offspring became the slaves of satan. Moreover, all creation which was created and given to them also came under the custody of satan for Adam and Eve obeyed satan and had thus accepted satan as their new master. Therefore St. Paul says that all of creation is groaning for liberation waiting for a savior and a redeemer. Jesus carried the burden of the sin of the world and took it on His body, i.e., bore the consequences of all sins in His body and died. Therefore John the Baptist said “This is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29).
You and I will experience this liberation if we believe in this good news that Jesus has already paid all penalties (ransom) for our transgressions and ask pardon of all trespasses with sincere repentance. The consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve is the cause of all sufferings in this world ( CCC 418 and 1521).So God sent His only son to carry this consequence into His body and the Son of God is condemned for the sins of our first parents and our own personal sins if any( Rom 8:3). Therefore there is no more condemnation for all those who believe in Jesus (Rom 8:1).
One person named Salim, who was working in the Hindi film industry, in Mumbai (Bollywood), as Director, attended my retreat in Mumbai 1998. He was under dialysis for three years due to kidney failure. When he heard that Christ has died for all and took the infirmities of all into His body (Mt8:16-17) he believed in it. And he participated in the Holy Mass which is the reenactment of the ransom paid by Jesus for all (John Paul II, Eucharist and Church 8). While the mass was going on, after the consecration, he rushed to the toilet and passed urine after three years of dialysis, because both kidneys started to function normally by that time. He is healed by the wounds of Jesus (1Pt 2:24 and Is 53:5-6). Jesus paid the ransom and he received it by faith and repentance. Now and then he comes to the Vincentian Perpetual Adoration Centre, 12th Road, Chembur, Mumbai to give his testimony since 1998.
Jesus has come to this world as a ransom. But he has not paid the ransom to satan but to God alone and He became ransom by himself and endured all sufferings according to the plan of God.
Therefore Christ is the good news for all who are under bondage, suffering and persecution. His birth is also good news for all. To experience this liberation through the suffering of Jesus, one should have repentance (decision to commit no sins), reconciliation with God and people, prayer and faith in Jesus. These are the prerequisites for salvation and redemption through Christ Jesus. Let us enjoy this redemption and thank the Lord for the same.