Why Didn't You Pay the Ransom

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
In March of 1987, eight-year-old Marco Fiora 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 which had held him to the wall, and he was wearing the same tee shirt which he had worn on the day he was kidnapped.
The national news media carried the coverage of the boy's recovery. Church bells were rung, 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 and asked, "Why didn't you pay the ransom? You don't want me back, do you?"
"He didn't even say 'Mama' to me; he was so cold," his mother later said.
The kidnappers apparently had 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.
In time, hopefully, the boy's heart will be healed and he will again be able to feel and show affection towards his parents.
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 even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many," the Lord Jesus said. 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, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot."
Through sin, death had such 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. When Christ died on the cross He fulfilled the promise that God made through Hosea, an Old Testament prophet: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death." This referred not to physical death only, but to the second death of endless and eternal separation from God.
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.
The gospel of God's grace reveals as nothing else ever could the immense love in God's heart. He proved His love beyond all doubt at the cross. That same love that brought Christ to the cross to die for sinners is active in the world today. God in love is calling sinners to repentance and faith in Christ through the preaching of the gospel. He "is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Oh, won't you respond to that love which is far above any other, and come to Christ Jesus?