Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”
I remember how exciting it was as a child to open presents on Christmas morning; so exciting that my brother and I often awakened very early while it was still dark out, turned on only the Christmas tree lights and sat marveling at the tree and presents. We had to wait until a decent hour to rouse our parents out of bed, and while we waited, curiosity would overwhelm us. We would begin to carefully open the ends of the wrapping to try and see what the gifts were. We couldn’t wait. While I don’t get quite that excited about opening up earthly gifts now, I do get excited about opening up God’s Word and His spiritual gifts. Through His amazing Word, and the power of the Holy Spirit, God continues to unwrap for believers the perfect gift of His Son, Jesus. “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you” (Luke 8:10); given to those who follow God and believe His Word is true. Usually as you unwrap a gift, what you find inside is smaller than the package. But as you unwrap God’s gift of His Son, you find that Jesus gets bigger. As you learn something about Him, apply it to your life and give Him away to others, God reveals more of this mystery of Christ to you. “Whoever has will be given more…” (Luke 8:18). It is truly “the gift that keeps on giving,” and there is no limit to the number of times you can re-gift Him. Not only does Jesus keep on giving, but He becomes a more perfect gift with each new insight we receive about Him. How has He become a more perfect gift to you this year?
For me it has been realizing more fully why Jesus had to die on the cross. The Bible reveals that Jesus was fully man and fully God. We are told in Hebrews 9:27 that “Man is destined to die once…” Death is part of the human experience. So for Jesus to be fully human, He had to experience a physical death. “…because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). He could not just be removed from earth like Enoch (Hebrews 11:5). We are also told that Jesus is our great high priest who always lives to intercede for us. That he is able to sympathize with us because he “has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Bible Study Fellowship notes point out that most humans give in to temptation long before they feel the full force of it. Jesus suffered that full force yet withstood it. The Bible Knowledge Commentary argues that “only One who fully resists temptation can know the extent of its force. Thus the sinless One has a greater capacity for compassion than any sinner could have for a fellow sinner.” We don’t even know the full force of our own temptations let alone those for all of humanity. And when Scripture says that Jesus has been tempted in every way, it was hard for me to fathom that in His short 30 years on earth, He experienced every temptation known to man. But you realize it is true when you understand that in His death, He experienced every sin and temptation past, present and future for all of mankind. So whether Jesus experienced these things while He walked on earth or while He hung on the cross, I know that He is perfectly prepared to intercede for me, for us, in every way. His training to be our great high priest was finished, and He can save us from every temptation. Jesus came to us as a child and a Son, but He left us as a man and a Savior. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
How excited are you to unwrap God’s gift of Jesus?
To whom will you re-gift Jesus this Christmas?