Each year in the USA, the total unredeemed value of gift cards purchased is estimated to be around a staggering one billion dollars.1
Have you ever received a gift card and not spent it?
I can think of one occasion I added to that figure, and it was a large sum of money, too.
The problem was, to redeem the gift card I had to spend some of my own money. At the time, our family couldn’t afford the extra money to spend with the gift card. What we would have received in return for the expense didn’t seem worth it. We weighed the cost and decided it was not worthwhile.
The gift card sat in my “to do” box for a long time. Eventually it got discarded.
There is one gift, far more valuable than my or any other gift card, which often goes unclaimed.
The Bible tells us:
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NLT)
The gift God gives us is whole and lasting life through his Son, Jesus.
Yet, we tend to think the gift will cost us something.
Maybe, we think we have to give up something we like, or a way of life we enjoy.
Or, more prevalent today, we see it costing us a way of thinking.
We also have to believe He is the only way to God. And that doesn’t sit very comfortably when we want to be inclusive.
We think God’s gift of life through Jesus means being unaccepting of other people, and condemning of other religions and beliefs.
Our generation is not alone in this struggle.
Accepting God’s gift is not just a modern, twenty-first century dilemma.
The problem started the moment Jesus opened His mouth and claimed to be the Son of God, and offered the way to life.
Jesus infuriated people. That’s why they wanted to put Him to death and be done with Him once and for all.
Yet, Easter is a reminder that God’s gift of life is still on offer to everyone, even if we doubt another person’s eligibility.
God’s gift has not expired. It does not cost us anything to cash it in.
What is holding you back this Easter from accepting God’s gift?
What will you do with Jesus this Easter? Will you ignore Him, turn your back on Him, or accept him?