Historically the greatest ransom paid was that paid for Atahualpa, the last emperor of the Incas, to the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1532-1533 at Cajamarca, Peru, which constituted a hall full of gold and silver, worth in modern money some $1.5 billion.
You might be familiar with Patty Hearst, who along with John Paul Getty III is probably the most famous American kidnapping victim in recent history. History reports that Hearst, a member of the famed newspaper family, was kidnapped by The Symbionese Liberation Army in February of 1974—snatched right out of her apartment. Hearst was with the SLA for the next 19 months, and famously transformed from a prisoner to a member, changing her name to Tania and even assisting the terrorists with a bank robbery. But before Patty Hearst became a living example of Stockholm Syndrome, the SLA began negotiating for her release. Hearst’s father paid $6 million in food with disastrous results.
The greatest ransom of all time came at a place called Calvary. The place where the Son of God gave His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). Jesus paid it all. Not only did He suffer physical pain but also separation from His Father in a way we’ll never quite grasp.
The good news is He’s alive and preparing a place for us, seated at the right hand of the Father. The mystery is a beautiful one. God in flesh, felt everything we feel, especially the betrayal of His closest friends. Yet, He was obedient unto death paying the greatest ransom in the history of the universe, for our freedom and eternal life with Him.
And that’s the Memo.