Jesus Paid It All … All to Him I Owe
Posted: Wednesday, March 2
Verse of the day:
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)
The story is told of a young Englishman traveling through New Orleans in the early 1800’s that explains the meaning of paying a “ransom.” It began with a his journey to California in search of gold. After several months of prospecting, he struck it rich and on his way home, he stopped in this southern city. Not long into his visit, he came upon a crowd of people all looking in the same direction. Approaching the crowd, he recognized that they had gathered for a slave auction. Slavery had been outlawed in England for years, so this man’s curiosity drew him to watch as a person became someone else’s property. He heard, “Sold!” just as he joined the crowd, and a middle-aged African man was taken away.
Next a beautiful young African girl was pushed up onto the platform and made to walk around so everyone could see her. The miner heard vile jokes and comments that spoke of evil intentions from those around him. Men were laughing as their eyes remained fixed on this new item for sale. The bidding began. Within a minute, the bidding surpassed what most slave owners would pay for a girl. As the bidding continued higher and higher, it was apparent that two men wanted her. In between their bids, they laughed about what they were going to do with her, and how the other one would miss out. The miner stood silent as anger welled up inside of him. Finally, one man bid a price that was beyond the reach of the other. The girl looked down. The auctioneer called out, “Going once! Going twice!”
Just before the final call, the miner yelled out a price that was exactly twice the previous bid. An amount that exceeded the worth of any man. The crowd laughed, thinking that the miner was only joking, wishing that he could have the girl himself. The auctioneer motioned the miner to come and show his money. The miner opened up the bag of gold he had brought for the trip. The auctioneer shook his head in disbelief as he waved the girl over to him. The girl walked down the steps of the platform until she was eye-to-eye with the miner. She spat straight in his face and said through clenched teeth, “I hate you!” The miner, without a word, wiped his faced, paid the auctioneer, took the girl by the hand, and walked away from the still-laughing crowd.
He seemed to be looking for something in particular as they walked up one street and down another. Finally he stopped in front of some sort of store, though the slave girl did not know what type of store it was. She waited outside as the dirty-faced miner went inside and started talking to an elderly man. She couldn’t make out what they were talking about. At one point the voices got louder, and she overheard the store clerk say, “But it’s the law! It’s the law!” Peering in, she saw the miner pull out his bag of gold and pour what was left of it on the table. With what seemed like a look of disgust, the clerk picked up the gold and went in a back room. He came out with a piece of paper, and both he and the miner signed it. The young girl looked away as the miner came out the door.