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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

A King's Ransom

Today’s Verse:

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. ~Hosea 13:14


In 1193, the English King Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, was returning from leading a crusade to the Holy Land. As he returned through Europe, Leopold V captured him in Austria. The Roman emperor demanded a ransom for Richard's release. The price was to be 150,000 marks, equal to three tons of silver. This was an enormous ransom demand. But the people of England so loved their king that they submitted to extra taxation, and many nobles donated their fortunes for Richard's release. After many months, the money was raised and King Richard returned to England. That's where we get the expression, "a king's ransom" (Fred Marks, “Mediator," 8/30/11, Sermon Central).

We see the prisoner.

Every person born into this world is a sinner. As sinners, we are dead in trespasses and sins. The eternal destiny of a sinner is condemnation to Hell. As sinners, we are held captive by our sinful condition. There is no escape on our own power. There is not enough money or good things we can do to earn our release. We are prisoners to sin, to a devil’s Hell, and to eternity without God. It is worse than being a prisoner on death row. It is the fact that the God of this universe has declared us guilty of our sin and condemned us to eternal separation from Him.

We see the payment.

The ransom is the required payment price to set us free as prisoners. Jesus became a ransom for us through His shed blood and death on the cross. "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Timothy 2:6). Jesus gave His life voluntarily and sacrificially for every sinner. He paid the sin debt in full. He gave His life as a ransom for sin. His sacrificial death was the exact amount required by God to pay the sin debt in full. There are no good works we can do or perform to pay our ransom. He is the only perfect sacrifice for the sin debt that we owe.

We see the product.

As we see from Hosea 13:14, we are ransomed from the power of the grave and death. When we pass this life, we graduate into the presence of God. There is the death of death. This mortal shall put on immortal, and this corruptible shall put on incorruption. Death and the grave cannot hold a child of God. "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Jesus has ransomed us from this terrible power.

We see the promise.

God says, “I will.” We will still die in this life, but to die is gain. Our bodies will lie silent in the grave, but there will be a resurrection of the believer’s body. "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction." This is our hope. This is our comfort. This is our anticipation of God’s promise for every believer.

Rejoice this morning that you are the product of “a King’s ransom.” The King of kings and Lord of lords paid the ransom price with His life for your salvation.

Have a ransom-rich God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Luke 10-11

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