My Favourite Stories #34

King Charles V and the loan.

All mortal life is on a search, consciously or unconsciously for 3 things: 1)The way to go and how to get there, 2) The truth to accept and 3) The life to live eternally. Jesus is the answer to all of these.

Many years ago King Charles V, who was the Holy Roman Emperor and the most powerful man in Europe, loaned a large sum of money from a merchant in Antwerp to help finance his wars. The loan became due, but the king was bankrupt. He was unable to pay his debt. The merchant gave a great banquet for the king. When all the guests were seated and before the food was brought in, the merchant had a large platter placed on the table before him. A fire was lit upon it. Then taking the note of debt out of his pocket, he held it in the flames until it was burned to ashes.

The king was now at peace with his debtor. The burden had been lifted. He was no longer mortgaged to the Merchant of Antwerp. Wouldn’t we love our banks to do that with our mortgages?

Just so we have all been mortgaged to God because of sin. The debt is due, but we are unable to pay its requirements. 2000 years ago, God invited a rebellious and corrupt world to the foot of the cross. There, God held your sins and mine to the flames, until the last vestige of our debt was consumed. Col 2:14, says our debt was nailed to the cross! What Christ has done is your surety of eternal life. However, the gift is not yours until you accept it.

Just like going to McDonalds will not make you a hamburger, you can sit in church week after week, but that will not make you a Son or Daughter of God. You can be a marvelous person, but that is not enough.

Have you ever stopped in an unfamiliar city and asked directions and then found that no matter how detailed the instructions, you can still get lost? Of course, GPS technology has removed this frustration largely from us. But there is spiritually a JPS, a Jesus positioning system. You see, Jesus did not tell us the way, and neither did He give us instructions about the way. The gospel is not good advice it is good news. Advice is about something I should do; good news is about something already done. Christ has made a way of escape! What we cannot earn or win, Christ offers to us as a gift. Eternal life. Faith is the hand that accepts te gift.

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