By George Bowers Sr.
One of the longest running television game shows is The Price is Right. It's an interesting and fast-paced competition where contestants must guess the prices of different items. The contestant who gets the closest to the actual retail price without going over wins prizes such as cash, cars or cruises. Shoppers who have some idea of current values certainly have the advantage, but there is always some amount of guesswork involved as well.
This reminds me of another price that must not just be close, but exactly right. And it is no game. The Bible tells us that we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God by breaking his rules. It also tells us that the wages or cost of doing this is eternal death apart from God, unless the right price can be paid.
Thankfully, we don't have to guess what that price is. We are told very clearly, but it is extremely high. The Bible tells us that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin, so the only price that could be paid is the lifeblood of an innocent sacrifice.
Since all of us are guilty, we are all ineligible for heaven unless someone pays that price for us. Thankfully someone did and that someone is Jesus. When he died on the cross nearly 2,000 years ago this coming Friday, he gave his own blood to pay the price for our sin and rebellion. Jesus was that perfect lamb of God that willingly died an excruciatingly painful death so that our right price might be paid in full. Praise God for the gift of Jesus!
Unlike the game show, however, God wants us all to receive this prize, not just a few lucky winners. But it's not automatic. We each have to admit that we are sinners, turn from our sin and ask God to forgive us. We have to believe that Jesus is God's son and that he did, in fact, die for us. And when we do, what a prize package awaits us!
As we commit our lives to following Jesus, God graciously gives us something far better than any new car or extravagant trip. For all who trust, believe, and follow him, he has promised an all-expense paid trip to heaven itself where the streets are paved with gold and where Jesus himself is our light. Better yet, it's a place where there is no more sickness or mourning or crying or pain. And best of all, it's a place where we can dwell with our creator God forever and ever.
This coming week, we remember the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the only one to ever come back from the dead under his own power. He promised that same resurrection power to all who trust and believe in him. If you've never accepted the right price that Jesus paid for you and asked God to forgive you, please do so today so that you might know the peace of his presence here below, and the blessings of heaven above forevermore.
George Bowers Sr. is the pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of four books, including his latest book of poetry, "Wit and Wisdom of the Woods." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.