Now, while this story may seem totally far-fetched and hard to believe, it illustrates exactly what God did for us. Every one of us is a sinner and we fall far short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We deserve the punishment for our sins and the Bible tells us that the punishment for sin is death. But, because God is a merciful God, He has instead given us eternal life (Romans 6:23). Despite the fact that we were guilty of sin, God allowed His own Son, Jesus, to take our place and pay the penalty for our sin by dying for us (Romans 5:8). And not only are we pardoned of our sin and freed from its shackles, but we also are restored to our relationship with God. And that is all because of God’s amazing grace (Romans 5:1-2).
A Parable of God’s Grace
A certain wealthy business owner hired a young man to oversee his business. The young man was given complete control over this business. He was placed in a spacious and beautiful penthouse office across from that of the business owner, and given a large percentage of the profits that the business made. For a while, the young man worked hard and the business grew, much to the pleasure of the business owner. But soon, the young man became greedy. His work ethic turned bad and he began to do things that were illegal in order to create more wealth for himself.
Now, this business owner was also a just man. When he learned of the young man’s crimes, he was greatly angered. He knew that something must be done, and so the business owner cast the young man from his office. The young man was tried for his crimes and given the sentence he deserved. But, as the young man was placed in chains and was being taken away to serve his sentence, the business owner stood up and said, “Wait!”
As the guards stopped and turned to face the business owner, the business owner’s son walked into the courtroom. The business owner looked at his son, and then, with tears in his eyes, said to the guards, “Release the young man. My son will take his place.” The guards took the shackles off the wrists of the young man and walked over to the business owner’s son, who voluntarily held out his own wrists to be shackled. As the son was taken away to receive punishment for crimes that were not his, the young man, who had truly deserved this punishment, was not only set free, but also was given back his job and once again allowed to occupy the office across from the business owner.