The Parable of the Pawn Shop

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us.

Ephesians 1:7-8 (RSV)

Ever been to a pawn shop? If you need money, you take something valuable to the shopkeeper, who lends you a sum of money based on the value of your treasure (probably less than you thought). He keeps the item for the period of the loan, as specified on your pawn ticket. If you bring back the ticket and repay the loan with interest before the due date, you get your treasure back. If you don’t, you can keep the loaned money—but the pawnbroker keeps your treasure.

Ephesians 1:7-8 describes a transaction a bit like the one above. When Adam rebelled against God long ago, Adam pawned himself and you to Satan. You just kept adding to the debt when you individually sinned against God. When Christ went to the cross for you, He redeemed you: brought in your ticket and bought you back.

But there’s more: Christ redeemed you “according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us….” It’s as if Jesus walked into the devil’s pawn shop and laid down your pawn ticket and the Hope diamond—His sinless blood–on the counter. Christ said to Satan, “I think that this more than covers [your name here]’s debt.”

The devil grudgingly puts you on the counter and Christ eagerly scoops you up and takes you out into eternal life. If you have accepted Christ’s gift of salvation, you’ve been completely, wholly, forever redeemed. You belong to the loving God of the universe.

Author: Richard Dick

Richard Dick served in the submarine Navy for 30 years (active and reserve) and retired from the Defense Department in 2015. As a Navigator and church elder, Richard teaches, leads home group and small group Bible studies, and likes to encourage folks. He and his wife enjoy movies, dining out, museums, battlefields (how cool is that - a wife who likes battlefields?!), and stocking his basement with treasures from secondhand book sales.

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