A King’s Ransom

A King’s Ransom

Sunday, March 24, 2024
| John 12:12-16

The people paid $17 million for Richard the Lionheart. For Jesus, they paid nothing.

“Lionheart.” King Richard I of England earned that name because of his courage in battle. He was a fearsome warrior and led a crusading army to the Holy Land to try to recapture Jerusalem. He very nearly succeeded.

But there were divisions in the ranks, and the Third Crusade fell apart. The French and the Germans didn’t get along with the English. King Richard left for home, and it was then his adventure really began.

Passing through Germany in disguise, his identity was uncovered. The German Emperor Henry VI threw him into prison. Henry declared he wouldn’t let Richard go until the people of England had raised the staggering sum of 150,000 marks. At today’s price of silver, that would be around $17 million.

It was, literally, a king’s ransom. When the king is in prison, the people pay the price.

All over England, money was collected to buy King Richard out of prison. Taxes were increased by 25%. Gold and silver treasures from cathedrals and...

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