Unlike our pay packet – which is something we have worked for – no-one earns a gift. Maybe that’s what makes it so special and so meaningful. The Bible tells us that God has given the world a gift, but what kind of gift is it?
An Undeserved gift
There is a reason why we choose a gift for someone. Perhaps it’s our immediate family who receive the most special gifts, then close friends, or someone who has helped us throughout the year. Others will only receive cards from us. It all depends on how close our relationship is to them.
But when God gave Jesus Christ as a gift, he gave without limits to a world that had turned against him: “Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son”. God created the world, and continues to sustain it, yet we’ve forgotten him. Jesus Christ did not come to us because we deserve it.
A Costly gift
How much do you spend on Christmas presents? Every year the shopkeepers hope that we will spend more than the previous year. But what can God give? He owns everything, and so we can imagine that nothing would cost him that much.
But He gave us the thing that cost him most - his own Son. The Bible says that Jesus is the Son of God. One name given to him is Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us’. God the Father gave Jesus knowing that the world would reject him, judge him and kill him on a cross. This is the most expensive gift in the history of the world! It was also a necessary gift, as there was no other way to save us.
A Suitable gift
Choosing Christmas presents can be a challenge! You want the gift to be appropriate - there’s no point in giving a hamper of meat to a vegetarian or luxury shampoo to a man who has lost his hair!
God chose a suitable gift for us - someone to save us. This is our greatest need - someone to keep us from the terrible consequences of our rebellion against God. Jesus came to save us by dying for our sins on a cross. This is the great news of Christmas.
A Gift that demands a response
Every gift must be either accepted or rejected. The same is true of Jesus Christ, the gift of God. King Herod refused this gift and tried to kill the baby Jesus. Many reject him in the same way; they say ‘no, thank you’ to God. They prefer the things the world has to offer. But the shepherds accepted the invitation and set off in search of the baby Jesus. The wise men understood that a King was coming into the world, and they travelled far to worship him.
How will you respond to God’s gift?
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
From the Bible - Romans, chapter 6, verse 23