In March of 1987, eight-year-old Marco was kidnapped and taken away from his mother at gunpoint. For seventeen months he was held for ransom in a mountain hideout in Italy while his captors demanded a two million dollar ransom. When paramilitary police had gotten close to the hut where the boy was held, his captors placed him on a mountain trail with the order, “Walk!”
The police found him on that mountain trail. His hair had grown past his shoulders. Around his left wrist were marks left from the chain that had held him to the wall, and he was wearing the same t-shirt which he had worn on the day he was kidnapped.
The national news media carried the coverage of the boy’s recovery and many people wept when they learned he was safe. However, the mother’s joy was dampened when her son was returned to her and he looked at her without any emotion in his brown eyes; in a very cold way he asked, “Why didn’t you pay the ransom? You don’t want me back, do you?”
The kidnappers had apparently told the boy that his parents didn’t love him because they were not willing to pay the ransom. The ransom sum the men had demanded was far beyond what his parents were able to pay, but the kidnappers had repeated their lie to the boy so many times that he had begun to believe them.
The question, “Why didn’t you pay the ransom?” can never be asked of God, for He paid the supreme ransom for our sakes. Nor can anyone doubt His love, because of the cost of that ransom.
For God, “who is rich in mercy,” has made a way for you to escape the final judgment you deserved because of your sin, to save you from the chain of Satan and from being captive to him. He gave His only beloved Son, to be your ransom. The Lord Jesus on the cross gave His life and shed His blood to pay your ransom. The ransom required to set men free from the power of sin and death cost far more than all the silver and gold in the world; it cost “the precious blood of Christ” the Bible, says “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” 1 Peter 1:18, 19.
Through sin death had an iron grip on mankind that the only way to break it was for the Son of God to come and die in the sinner’s place. Because “Christ Jesus…gave Himself a ransom for all,” the good news goes out to all men, telling them of a free salvation. It is offered to all, but only received by those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God with all their hearts.
God’s Word, the Bible, says it so plainly: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). More than that, we are promised that “whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus] shall receive remission of sins. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23).