I Timothy 2:6 says Jesus "gave himself as a ransom." A ransom is a price paid to purchase someone's freedom.
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 Holy 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 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."
But to us, the term "a King's ransom" could better be applied to the tremendous price Jesus, the King of Kings paid for our sins on the cross. This King wasn't being ransomed; He paid the ransom so we can be set free. It is the most expensive ransom in the history of mankind.
In another story that came from the Crusades, Norman Lord Grimbald de Pauncefort was captured by the Saracens. When asked the ransom price for his release the Turkish prince demanded the severed right hand of de Pauncefort's young bride, Eleanor. In a tremendous act of courage and sacrifice, Lady Eleanor complied, and had her left hand amputated and sent to ransom her husband.
In a sense, that's what Jesus did for you, but He didn't just give His hand--He gave His life.
(From a sermon by Fred Markes, Mediator, 8/30/2011)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Chris Appleby on Oct 18, 2000
Those who are outside the people of God are in rebellion against Him and are therefore spiritually dead. But God makes them a free offer to bring them back to life. All that’s needed to receive all of the bounty that God offers is to believe his promise,