shake hands webWho (except for a few of us older folks) can forget the sight of people dressed in outlandish costumes vying for attention and the chance to obey Monty Hall’s call to “Come on down!”? Let’s Make a Deal was an opportunity for the ill-clothed to win it all or lose it all.

How many times have you seen those commercials for everything from cars to cable TV to cosmetic cremes that offer you an unbeatable deal? However, a vital part of those deals is the fine print: “If you don’t like it, return it for a full refund (minus shipping, handling, and restocking fees).” “If you call within the next five minutes, you will get a second Shaft-O-Matic Combination Washer / Dryer / Egg Poacher for free! (Just pay an extra combination-offer fee)!”

Big deal! There’s always a catch. The seller is not going to take a financial dive to make you happy. As the old folks used to say, “Nothing in life is free!”

We’ve even recently heard about deals that governments have been making and breaking and leaking and tweaking. Nothing seems easy or permanent.

People in the Bible made deals for better or worse. Jacob, later Israel, made a deal with God “saying, ‘If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you’” (Genesis 28:20-22).

He later made a deal with someone less dependable than God: his uncle Laban (Genesis 29). Jacob agreed to work seven years so he could marry Rachel, “and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her” (v. 20). However, when the time was fulfilled, Laban gave Jacob Leah, and made him work another seven years. What a creep.

Not to sound like a huckster, but I am here to tell you of an unbeatable deal that is too good to pass up! And it will not cost you one thin dime! There are no fees, no hidden costs, no papers to sign, no box tops to send in, and a solid no-return policy. That’s right, you cannot return it! Believe me, you wouldn’t want to. The agreement is fully guaranteed and signed in blood.

In its simplest form, the deal God offers is this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus expanded a bit on this deal when he said, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40). That’s all there is to it! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31).

The apostle Paul spent his life spreading the good news (gospel), begging people to believe in this unbelievable deal. He made the terms simple, with no fine print: “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (1 Cor. 5:20-21). God says, in effect, “Give me your sin and I’ll give you the righteousness of my son. I’ll take your foolish costume and clothe you in holiness” (See Revelation 3:18). Who can resist that call to “Come on down!” to the cross of Christ?

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