Thoughts From The Box – “Puerto Rican Ransom”
My twin brother and I just went on our first vacation together in five years. Guess where we went? Yep, you got it… Puerto Rico! The trip was short but very eventful. I’ll spare you all the details, however there was one event that I believe God wanted me to experience and you to visualize.
I have to be honest with you, I did not get the significance of this revelation until I returned home. I was at home lifting weights in my garage when the spirit of the Lord clearly said, “Ransom!”
Now, arriving in Puerto Rico, Julien and I thought it would be a good idea to rent a car because of the distance from our hotel to all of the tourist attractions I had planned for us to see. This panned out to be a smart move as far as our budget was concerned.
On the second day of the trip, we decided to sightsee in the Historic District, or what is called “Old San Juan.” Our guide was running a little behind schedule, so he told us to park, walk around and take pictures of the island. While driving, I noticed an abandoned parking lot right off the road, so I prompted Julien to pull over and park the car. I hurried out of the car while Julien stayed behind setting up his camera. When I turned back, a local quickly walked over to Julien and said, “Lock your doors.” With a light smirk on his face and a swaggering persona, Julien replied, “OK!” However, the local wasn’t smiling and repeated firmly, “Lock your doors!”
I didn’t know what this guy was saying to my brother because I was a couple feet away, so I stopped and automatically went into protection mode because another local was walking between Julien and me. Julien listened, locked the doors, and then smoothly headed my way. Thinking the whole thing was strange, I asked, “What was all that about?” Well, we would find out later. (Traveling Tip: If you don’t see any other cars parked in a parking area, it’s probably not a good place to be… I’m just saying!)
Julien and I finally met up with our guide, after a couple hours of sightseeing by ourselves, and he hurriedly showed us around Old San Juan. Because of our tight schedule, I told our guide we had to cut the tour short. At this point, I wanted to walk back to the car, but our guide continued to insist that he would drive us back. Arriving at the rental, we saw there were now four cars surrounding our vehicle, and some even had tinted windows. ” was going on now?”
The same local who had told Julien to lock the doors came up to our guide talking in Spanish but in a devious and suspicious manner. After a couple of seconds our guide slid him some cash and asked us, “Is everything in the car?” I took a look and replied, “Yeah.” He told us to get in the car and follow him. Curious about the day’s events, I later texted our guide and asked him why he had to pay the stranger off. He replied, that the guy expected us to give him cash because he claimed to be protecting our car from other locals.
Wow! What if we would have gone back to the car by ourselves? If they had asked us for money, would we have given it to them? We didn’t know the rules in Puerto Rico. This was foreign territory for us. And, truthfully, I would not have given them any money. However, looking back on this, a safe assumption is that they probably would have taken the money from us forcefully, for sure. Our guide probably saved our lives!
Don’t you see? We thought our guide was to serve us in one thing by taking us sightseeing but, instead, he stood in the gap, taking his hard-earned money and paying the redemptive price to get us out of a potentially dangerous situation.
My friends, Jesus did the same thing. When we are in bad situations because of sin and we don’t know where to go, Jesus becomes that ransom for us. In fact, he has already paid the price once by dying on the cross for our sins. And please don’t get it “twisted.” Some religions teach that we humans placed Jesus on the cross with our sins. This is to make us live our lives in guilt. However, it’s not biblical. In John 18:10, Jesus clearly says, “No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”
Just as our Puerto Rican guide was there for my brother and me in time to save us from bodily harm, Jesus is there to save us from hell. He is the perfect atonement, and in His death we now have life. Jesus’ blood becomes the bridge that repairs our relationship with God the Father. However, we must decide to choose Jesus as our Savior to get back to Him. No better time than right now!
Jesus, thank You for paying the price and being a ransom for us all. In this holiday season, help us not to forget that You did not remain in a manger and you did not stay on a cross after you died. But you conquered death by raising Yourself from the grave, and You now sit on the right hand of the Father, interceding for us every day. Thank You, Jesus!!! It is in Your wonderful and matchless name we pray. Amen
Damien K. H. Nash, Founder & CEO
TNG Publishings, LLC