Jesus taught us the parable of ‘the Unforgiving Servant.’ In that Jesus talks of the man who owed the king Ten Thousand talents. In the footnote of my Bible (ESV) – Talent is described as a monetary unit worth about 20 years’ wages for a labourer.
So, Ten Thousand talents would mean, approximately, Two Hundred Thousand years of labour. If we consider a person’s ability to work for 30 years in one lifetime, then it would take Six Thousand Six Hundred Sixty Six lifetimes to just settle the principal amount. Now such a predicament is like a ‘forever’ situation.
The servant’s inability to pay back was punished by the king who ordered the man along with his wife and children to be sold – and payments be made.
The question that arises here is how can a few lives compensate for the debt that requires Six Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty Six lives working for 30 years. I think, all the king was doing was trying to cut his loss a very tiny bit and also punish this fellow. There was no way of recovering the debt.
The damage done by sin is very great. No length of time or number of births or attempts can in any way set right the damage done by sin. For in sinning we are going against the infinitely holy God.
Apart from the salvation of God through Jesus Christ, the consequence of sin is eternal damnation in hell. The point I want to make in relation to the parable is that – just like few lives sold into slavery could not in any way settle the debt – eternal damnation in hell, as horrible as it is, can in no way undo the damage done by sin.
In other words – eternal damnation in hell is the most horrible thing that can happen – but even that is not sufficient punishment for sinning against the infinitely holy God.
Now, it is such damned and hopeless cases that the Son of God seeks to redeem and save.
Yes, amazing grace it is, because even when eternal damnation in hell settles nothing, the cross of our beloved Saviour, Jesus Christ, settles everything. Settles it all for those who believe in Him.
“Amazing Grace / How sweet the sound / That saved a wretch like me.”