Easter: Deal or No Deal


About ten years ago one of the biggest shows on television was NBC's prime-time game show "Deal or No Deal." The game involved a contestant choosing a briefcase from a selection of twenty-six. Each briefcase contained a cash value from one cent to one million dollars. Over the course of the game the contestant eliminated cases, periodically being presented with a "deal" from The Banker. The "deal" was a cash offer the amount of which depended on the values of the cases remaining in play in exchange for leaving the game. If the player accepted the "deal" he or she pressed a large flashing red button to end the game and win the amount of the deal. But the player could also declare "No deal!" and then continue into the next round of the game.

I enjoyed watching that show. I always rooted for people to make the best deal hoping someday someone would make the ultimate deal and win a million dollars. I also loved the concept of the show - a person is challenged to make a really big decision. A deal is offered and a person must decide to accept it or reject it. The financial impact of the decision could change a person's life.

There is a decision that can literally change a person's life forever. Easter is the opportunity to consider God's deal offered to us. We must decide to accept it or reject it. God's offer is salvation. Our soul is saved and we receive eternal life. We accept Jesus' death on the cross for our sins. We choose to believe in the resurrection. Easter declares the deal is real. Jesus' victory over sin and death means we can live forever in heaven with him.

The deal is incredible. God offers forgiveness for all our past sins, mistakes and failures. He gives us a fresh start and a new beginning. We are born again. Life has meaning and purpose as we live out God's plan for our lives. Power and strength are given to us by the Holy Spirit to live successfully and when this life is over our future is a guaranteed spot in heaven. While on this earth we have clear guidance from the Bible on how to live. And we have a great leader Jesus following his teachings and emulating his life.

Why would anyone ever reject such a phenomenal deal? For some good old fashioned pride gets in the way. They simply do not want to admit their need for God. They know they are not perfect, they know they need forgiveness but admitting it is just too much for them. Others do not want to give up their perceived control. They really aren't in control anyway but the idea of following Jesus and doing his will instead of theirs keeps them from accepting him. Some believe it is just too hard to be religious, they feel they will give up all their fun but Jesus calls us to a relationship not religion. Experiencing God's grace and walking in faith is an adventure not drudgery.

On the television show sometimes people would seemingly turn down a great deal and end up with virtually nothing. It would be unfortunate but their life and future would not be changed forever. Such is not the case with God's deal. His offer is available to anyone: regardless of gender, age, race or ethnicity. Easter makes God's offer crystal clear. The decision is yours - Deal or no deal?