RS/MP Lesson 23: “The Sacrament” (Gospel Principles Manual) -RC

First, I think the JST for Matthew 26:22 that is cited early in the lesson is interesting because it adds the notion of “ransom” to the sacrament: “Take, eat; this is in remembrance of my body which I give a ransom for you.” How are we to understand the term “ransom” here?

The Book of Mormon of Mormon only uses the term “ransom” twice (according to my lds.org search): 2 Nephi 8:10 quoting Isaiah, and Alma 52:8. In Alma 52:8, we read that Moroni keeps prisoners “as a ransom for those whom the Lamanites had taken.” This seems consistent with the Greek term used in the New Testament for ransom, “lytron”, which means “the price for redeeming” that is “paid for slaves [or] captives.” Essentially Christ has paid the price of our sins so that we don’t have to. The sacrament, in essence, should disrupt an economic understanding of our own sins. Rather than having to pay for our own sins, Christ pays and then gives us the gift of salvation. It is, in this sense, that “salvation is free” (2 Ne 2:4).

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