Saturday, August 7, 2010

The King's Ransom

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

"When I buy for you, I never look at the price." I forget what occasioned this declaration from my husband, but I know it's true. He may wrangle for a good price on other things, but not when it comes to me. I must admit, although I have felt guilty about this at times, I have given up chiding him for it. When he spoke these words in all sincerity, my mind immediately went to the Lord Jesus. It was almost as though I could hear that dear One say, "When I paid the ransom for you, I didn't look at the price."

In His case, it was not "a king's ransom," the price required to buy back a stolen king; but rather, "the King's ransom," the price that the King was willing to pay to ransom those who had been His from the foundation of the world, but who, as far as earth and time were concerned, had been kidnapped by the Enemy.

Sometimes a ransom involves a trade. One victim for another, or one life for another. This must surely be the most drastic exchange. Besides the weighing of cost, there will be weighing of worth. Who would offer a king in exchange for a criminal? But that is exactly what God did. You and I had committed a capital crime against Him: willful disobedience; yet He arranged an exchange of penalty—even guilt—if we will accept His offer of salvation and swear allegiance to Him.

I ask you, were we worth the trade? Was it a reasonable exchange? Not to any thinking person's estimation. Ah, but for some reason, it was to God. And for that reason, the foundation of my assurance of self worth is the extravagance of the ransom that was paid for my redemption.

What shall I assume is the motivation behind my husband's desire to spend generously on me? I like to think it's love; and, as a matter of fact, he told me so. And what shall I assume is the motivation behind God's desire to spend so generously on me? As a matter of fact, He had told me; it's love. "God so loved that he gave..."

Calvary was The King's Ransom, and I sing with the songwriter:

There's a sweet and blessed story of the Christ who came from glory Just to rescue me from sin and misery; He in loving kindness sought me, and from sin and shame has brought me; Hallelujah! Jesus ransomed me.

By and by with joy increasing, and with gratitude unceasing, Lifted up to be with Christ eternally; I will join the hosts there singing, in the anthem ever ringing, To the King of Love who ransomed me.

Hallelujah! What a Savior Who can take a poor, lost sinner, Lift Him from the miry clay and set him free; I will ever tell the story, shouting, "Glory, glory, glory!" Hallelujah! Jesus ransomed me.

— Julia H. Johnston, 1849-1919

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