20:28 ransom. This term refers to the price paid to deliver someone from slavery or imprisonment. The price of freedom from sin and condemnation is Jesus’ life, given for us (1 Pet. 1:18, 19). Since the elect are ransomed from the wrath of God, the ransom was offered to God Himself. Jesus drinks the cup of God’s wrath (v. 23), not for His own sins, but as the means of ransoming many.
for many. The Greek preposition translated “for” can also be translated “in the place of.” It expresses the substitutionary nature of Jesus’ suffering. That Jesus says “many” here (cf. Is. 53:11, 12) rather than “all people” indicates a specific or definite focus to His redemptive activity. Nevertheless, it is “many” and not a “few.” See notes John 17:9; 1 Tim. 2:6.