Too good to be true?

If you get an email from a person with an exotic name in a foreign land saying that someone has died and they want to give you 15 million dollars. You just need to say yes. You just need to accept it, to receive it. You just need to do one little thing. A friend of ours actually responded to one of these offers and after weeks of increasingly sinister correspondence, tracked them down. They instructed her to meet them in a dark, vacant parking lot somewhere in London. Hmmm. We suggested she stop doing stuff like that.

You get a letter in the mail inviting you to a free steak dinner. Or, you get an offer for a free weekend at a resort, where there will be a brief presentation on how you can buy a vacation timeshare. Darlene and I went to one of these and started thinking we should buy one, so we called a financial advisor who said, "Run away."

We get callous to good news, anything that seems too good to be true, especially if it's free. By the way, the phrase "there's no free lunch" arose from the 19th century practice of offering free lunches in saloons, as long as you purchased drinks. And the food was pretty salty.

So you pick up a Bible, which informs you that Jesus lived in a foreign land, and he died, and he wants to give you eternal life. And all you have to do is say yes.

We can understand why people find this offer too good to be true. There must be a catch. I'm going to have to change my life, or give up things I like to do, or give money to the church, or stop hanging out with my friends, or whatever. I'll end up having to pay somehow.

And yet Jesus does offer us a deal. The exchange of our old life for his new one. We don't receive it as a reward for being good, or for trying harder. It is free for the taking. And there was a cost, it's just that it was paid by Him. That's what Easter is all about.

- Steve