The best Christmas gift is not to be found under the Christmas tree among the other nicely wrapped presents. Although these gifts will get a lot of attention as we near another Christmas morning and the children’s wide-eyed anticipation will be realized. The best Christmas gift is not under the tree. It is on the tree. This tree, of course, is a reference to the cross on which Jesus was crucified. And the best gift is Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Peter identified this gift in I Peter 2:24 by saying, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” This is a bloody gift. It is an abused gift. And according to Isaiah 55 it comes without money and without price.
This gift is wrapped in love. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son—the best that heaven had. You don’t want to discard this wrapping. It is the wrapping of the best Christmas gift.
This gift is wrapped in grace. Grace is getting something that we did not deserve. It is God’s unmerited favor. It is the wrapping of the best Christmas gift. You don’t want to discard this wrapping.
This gift is wrapped in mercy. Mercy is not getting something we did deserve. We deserved judgment. We deserved death. But we are offered life in its fullness. Mercy is the wrapping of the best Christmas gift. You don’t want to discard this wrapping.
This gift is wrapped in joy. It is joy unspeakable and full of Glory! The hymn writer says “Joy to the World, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king.” This joy doesn’t fade when Christmas morning is over. You don’t want to discard this wrapping.
Buying gifts at Christmas can be a tricky business. I heard the story of the wife who said to her husband around Thanksgiving day that by Christmas morning she wanted something new and shiny in their driveway that would go from zero to 200 in l0 seconds. To her surprise he said nothing about the request, and sure enough, on Christmas morning a box was on the driveway. She went out and gingerly opened the box to find a brand new, shiny bathroom scales! To be sure, it was not what she had in mind.
Jesus Christ is the most carefully selected and perfectly wrapped Christmas gift that anyone could ever hope to receive. It is a gift that will not wear out in time or grow old in eternity. Salvation is a gift. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable GIFT!
Jim Myer – CBC Executive Board