‘Repent and believe the Gospel’ the New Testament tells us that right at the beginning of His Ministry Jesus went about Galilee declaring that the Kingdom of God was near and that all should repent and believe the Good News, and what staggering Good News it was and is that God has declared a universal amnesty and we are forgiven; the death of Jesus has cancelled out all our sins. Perhaps not such an easy thing to do 2000 years later, but here is a a story of a man determined to cheat on God’s grace received in words and pictures:-
A man considering himself to be an expert with a cricket bat (evasive and argumentative words) faces his opponent, the bowler (Christ) who bowls a slow ball (a word to bring repentance). The batsman hits the ball with all his strength. Up, up, (and the batsman believes, out well out of the fielders reach, out of the cricket ground (out of court), but the bowler (Christ, remember) leaps into the air and catches it. The man is caught OUT – but refuses to accept that. So, the bowler, bowls another ball, faster this time, and another, and another – the unsporting cheat is caught out and refuses to be OUT. Finally the last ball of the over and the bowler still high in the air with the ball safely in His hand throws the ball to the batsman who carried away with his cleverness at managing to cheat every ball (call to repentance) bowled leaps up, catches the ball himself and demolishes the wicket having thrown away his bat to make a two handed catch. The spectators are in uproar of laughing, and calling out “Cheat! Cheat! Out! Out! Out”
The Bowler tells the the Press, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness” (Job 5: 13)
The Batsman still in shock reads the Word on the ball at last and too late, ‘Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the LORD and turn away from evil” (Prov. 3: 7)
The one who calls us to repentance is Christ, who is also the umpire and Judge at the end of the day, His decision is final. The only fair way to respond to His call to repent is do just that! All our clever evasions and denials ultimately work against us.
I see the Bowler on His way to the Pavilion stop and walk over to a small child who has been sitting silently, watching His every move. The Bowler hands the child a new, shining cricket ball and with wonder the child reads the words “Follow me”
Speaking, the Bowler says “All desire to wield the bat and to stand defiantly at the wicket all day long, but you have my Word now, follow me, repent and believe the Gospel!”
With apologies to all who follow the game of cricket.