This is a parable what was told to me many years ago. It helped me understand the nature of the Grace of God and it is my hope it helps you.
The Banker and the Business Man
Try to imagine a young man from way back in the early 1800s, he is entrepreneurial and very ambitious. He has dream to make his fortune by sending a ships to the Spice Islands loading it with spices and gems and selling the goods in Europe. However he does not have enough money to do what he has planned, so he borrows heavily from a bank against everything that he has and even more than he has. He then buys a ship and hires a crew.
The first part of the journey was more successful than imagined with a far greater quantity of spices and gems traded for the goods that he brought from England than was originally anticipated. The journey home was not so good. The ship was wrecked on a small island in a massive storm and only two of the crew and the young man survived. After many months on the island, the young man and his two colleges were eventually rescued and returned to England but with nothing more that the tattered clothes that they stood in. The two others went their way but the young man owed money, lots of money.
At this point he had a choice, he could run off perhaps to Europe or the Americas and try to avoid the grasp of his debts or he could go and face the banker now. In Europe and the Americas, the banker has many friends and connections and the young man knew that eventually his debts would find him out.
He decides to go to confront the issue head on. So he goes to the banker and tells him everything, he even explains how that if he had listened to the captain and waited for the monsoon season to finish all would have been well so the whole mess really was his own fault.
The banker could have responded a couple ways; he could demand of the young man all that he had and then sell him into slavery which he had every right to do after all the young man had signed the contract. But the banker did something extraordinary; he cancelled the young man’s debt totally.
So when this debt was cancelled, who really paid for it, after all the money given to the young man was totally lost? In this case, because the banker cancelled the debt the money was a write-off but in effect, the bill is paid for out of the profits of the bank and since the banker owns the bank, it was banker who really paid out the debt.
This is the way it is with God. It is He that we owe, He that we cannot possibly pay and He that cancels the debt. God did this by coming to earth in the very person of Jesus taking upon Himself the likeness of a man. This man Jesus loved like no other and he was righteous like no other. In His love he took upon Himself all the sins (rebellion) of the world and died in our place. It was he who picked up the tab, he who took upon Himself the inadequacies of us all and it is His love that sets us free.
This is love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)