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About the Writer:
Joanne Sampl

With grown step-children, college age sons and a self-employed husband, Joanne offers her time to God and to others. Her interest in writing and communications brought her back to college as an adult and through several reinventions of her own business and ministries. With time on her hands, she writes about God and life.



Jellybean Transactions

By Joanne Sampl

There’s a flavor to spring. Did you know it? Sure, spring is bright and colorful with the winter clouds dispersing and the sun warming the ground. And, it smells incredible with the freshly cut lawns and blooming flowers wafting fragrances around.  But, I connect spring with taste: the sweet, delicious and tantalizing tastes of candy in my childhood Easter basket.

Even as an adult, I relate spring to candy. There are so many kinds:  chocolate Easter bunnies, marshmallow peeps, malted milk balls, solid milk chocolate eggs, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Cadbury eggs - plus so much more.  By the way, I was very pleased a few years ago when the people at M&Ms started selling pastel pink, blue, green and yellow M&Ms instead of the primary colors available the rest of year. In my mind, pastel M&Ms taste better, too.

Ah, but the store shelves always fill up with jelly beans this time of year. I also always fill up with jelly beans this time of year. It’s my annual obsession that goes back to my childhood. I was the one kid in the family that would trade anything in my Easter basket for everyone else’s jellybeans. I really don’t know if I ever really liked peeps. To be honest, I never gave them a chance. But, they were quickly traded to my sister who loved peeps for all the jellybeans in her basket. Then, I would trade my milk chocolate eggs for someone else’s jellybeans. To me, Easter Sunday was more about the continuous barrage of “Let’s Make A Deal” transactions throughout most of my childhood.

It wasn’t until I was much older that I understood about the Ultimate Transaction: the one Jesus did for me on the Cross and in His Resurrection from the Dead.  I was 28 years old when I finally understood that I needed Jesus to open the doors to my eternity with Him and open my heart to Him in this life.

Since then, my love for jelly beans is minute compared to my love for Jesus. However, I am grateful that someone ingeniously tied Jelly Beans to Jesus a few years ago. My sister gave me a small jar filled with yellow, white, black, red and green jellybeans. It was the perfect gift for me and it reminded me of the Ultimate Transaction when I accepted Jesus.

This illustration is taught in Sunday school classes across the country. It's called the "Gospel According to Jelly Beans."

Yellow Jelly Bean - reminds me of Heaven. The Bible says, "God is The Light and in Him is no Darkness at all"(I John 1:5).

Black Jelly Bean – reminds me of the one thing that cannot be in Heaven: Sin. Sin is inside everyone and it’s the part of us that desires to have our own way instead of God's way. “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23). All means every one of us.

Red Jelly Bean - shows the way God made for me to have my sins forgiven-taken away. God loves me. He sent His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, from Heaven to take the punishment for my sin (John 3:16), through His Crucifixion and Death on the Cross.

White Jelly Bean - reminds me that we can be made clean from sin by believing the truth about Jesus dying on the Cross for each one of us personally. (I John 1:7).  It was a choice for Jesus to die for me personally, and I get to choose to accept His Gift of Forgiveness personally. My sins are gone. I am clean because of Jesus.

Green Jelly Bean - reminds me of my new life received from God. The color green reminds me of things that grow outdoors, like leaves, grass, flowers, and trees.  I still have so much to learn about Jesus, that years later, I am still growing. The Bible says  to "grow in grace in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18).

By the way, I kept the jar, but ate the jelly beans.

I still have so much to learn.


Copyright © March 2008 – Joanne Sampl. All rights reserved.


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