A man was in a pit. It wasn't his own fault, he had been born there. His parents had fallen in, lived there and died there. He was trying to avoid the same fate. Each day for years he scrambled up the walls of the pit, carving steps into the wall, trying to find his way out. One day, after he had spent the previous hours trying to get out, a man approached him and told him there was no way he would ever be able to get himself out of the pit. The man asked him, 'don't you think your parents tried? Did they make it?' The man shook his head sadly, 'No,' he said.
'There is only one way to get out.' Hope filled the other man's face. 'What must I do?'
'All you need to do is ask, and a man, the only man who can, will lift you out of the pit and take your place there.'
'He wants nothing in return?'
The other man shook his head. 'There is nothing you could ever offer him that would match what he is offering you. He does this not because you have earned it, not because your years of striving have earned you the right to be rescued, but because it is his nature to love, and love is selfless and sacrificial, gracious and merciful, never demanding anything in return.'
This is what Christ gave us. We weren't sinners of our own doing. We were born into it. Naively, we thought we could save ourselves. We thought if we tried hard enough, earned enough money, were kind to enough people, we could help ourselves. But this was a problem too big for us. Only one man could save us. His name was Jesus. His loving sacrifice, paid the complete price for our salvation.