Whenever the New Testament talks about a spiritual reality that is enormous in its significance and implications, it doesn’t define it. Instead, it uses a wide variety of images to capture and communicate its richness.
Example: Jesus Christ. Consider the many images of Christ presented in the New Testament. Savior, Shepherd, Lord, Master, Teacher, Bridegroom, Foundation, Cornerstone, Lion, Lamb, King, Priest, Prince of Peace, the last Adam and on and on.
Another Example: the Church. The Body, the Bride, the Building, the Family, the Vineyard, the Temple and on and on.
It’s the same way with the atonement. The New Testament gives various images to communicate its infinite richness.
Why? Because the work of Jesus Christ at Calvary is too enormous in its scope and too rich in its meaning to be captured by a single image or definition.
Hence, the atonement was the ultimate sacrifice.
It was the ultimate ransom. It was the ultimate satisfaction. It was the ultimate deliverance from the ultimate curse. It was the ultimate defeat of Satan and dethronement of the god of this world. It was the ultimate payment for the ultimate penalty. It was the ultimate victory over the forces of darkness. It was the ultimate mystery, and on and on and on.