God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. Galatians 4:5
I just got back from a trip to Charleston, SC and being a northern boy my stomach always drops when I am in the south and I see remnants of slavery. Now I am not ignorant of the fact that slaves were prevalent in just about every part of our country at one point or another, but down south you see much more remains of the horrible institution of slavery. Whether it is the plantations, slave marts, or you hear the stories of slave revolts, slavery was a major part of southern life. I took a photography tour and the tour guide showed us a slave mart that is now a museum. She told us that at one point a “seasoned” male could go for as much as $1,000 1860 dollars. After doing a little research I found that this would be about $26,000 today. I also found that some slave auctions had over 200 slaves, men, women and children, at their auction. If the number of each men, women and children were equal that would give you a total of 103,900 (1860 dollars) or $2,701,400,000 (2011 dollars) for 198 slaves.
Now imagine the Bill Gates of that time coming to one of the slave auctions and buying every single slave up for auction. That would be insane! Bill Gate’s total worth is about 59 billion, but still 2 billion is a lot of money to spend. Now lets say he goes one step further and adopts every single one of the slaves into his own family. Could you imagine that? 198 former slaves are not only free, but they will be fed, clothed, and provided for as if they were born into this family. No one could ever expect anyone to do that.
Paul says that this is exactly what God did. God sent his representative, Jesus, to the slave auction and told him that no matter what, those slaves will be in my family. Spend whatever you need to spend to free them and bring them to my table. Jesus went to that slave auction and the only way that He could fulfill His Father’s wish was to offer His life in place of theirs. He did just that and then instead of blaming the now-former slaves He instead opens His arms and welcomes them to the family.
We were once slaves to sin and not only set free from that sin, but also welcomed into God’s family and God hopes that every single one of us can join Him at His table. What a great picture of God and what He Has planned for us.