Before I retired, when I returned to the office after lunch, I would sometimes joke with the staff. I would ask them, “Did Publisher’s Clearing House call while I was at lunch?”
The answer was always, “No, they didn’t.” And I would go into my office. I think the joke kept the atmosphere relaxed.
I never really expected to win the PCH prize of thousands of dollars a week for life. But from their TV commercials advertising the contest, seeing well-dressed people come up to your house, announcing that you just won a fantastic prize always seemed exciting.
I never expected to win because I never entered the PCH contest. But the thought of winning a lifetime of money and imagery were always fun to imagine.
The same with the TV show The Price is Right. Contestants are called to the stage from the audience. The Master of Ceremonies asks them to choose a door behind which could be a marvelous prize. I’ve never seen a contestant that wasn’t filled with excitement and suspense as they chose a door.
Imagine then the thrill of hearing Christ’s first words in the Gospel of Mark. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God [g]is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Wow. This is Christ calling us forward. He looks us in the eye and heart. He says to us, “This is the day you’ve been waiting for. You have the opportunity today to walk into the kingdom of God. With me today, right now, you can walk into my kingdom. I will love you eternally. I will share everything with you. I will even let you sit on my throne with me.
“Here’s the thing. This isn’t like Publishers Clearing House or The Price is Right. I’m not offering you a prize that you can take back to your seat, take home, we never see each other again, and you die. No. I’m telling you that if you believe in me, you and I will walk into my kingdom together. We will live together eternally. I have power over death. You will rise from the dead as I did. Imagine that. Rising from the dead. No one else can offer you that prize, that power, that free gift at the end of your race.
“All you have to do is agree to live like I do. If you believe in me, I will give you my Spirit. With my Spirit, you will have the strength and wisdom to live like I do. You have to agree to no longer live as you are accustomed to. You have to repent, turn around and follow me. Can you do that? Will you do that?
“I’m not offering you a prize that stays in your garage after you are dead. No, I’m offering you eternal life. With Me, you will rise from the dead. Everything I own I am willing to share with you eternally. Will you agree to believe in me and live as I live? If you do, we will walk through that door together into eternal life.
“What’s your answer? I and the audience are anxious to hear your answer. Do you think death will satisfy your heart’s longing? Or do you want eternal life? How badly do you want eternal life? I’m so willing to give it to you and walk through life with you. Don’t listen to the audience on this one. Listen to me. You want what I have to offer. You’ll not regret saying ‘Yes, I believe in you Jesus.’ I promise.”
The Last Supper, 1786 by Benjamin West.