Summary: Four gifts that God desires for you to discover this Christmas
Show video “The Living Nativity”
Romans 5:6-8 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
As the character in the video stated “If it were up to me, the world would have been out of luck.” What sacrifice, if any, would you be willing to pay to save this world?
Let’s look at Romans 5:6-8 again. Think for a moment of those for whom you would be willing to die, perhaps a child or a parent. You may even die for a close friend. Would you die for a stranger? Some people have lost their lives while trying to save the lives of someone they knew absolutely nothing about.
But would you willingly give your life to someone who broke into your home, brutally murdered your family, stole all your possessions, and pistol whipped you as they were leaving? If a police officer was firing at them with his gun, would you step in front of the bullet so this brute would live? If found guilty at a trial and sentenced to death, would you plead to take this person’s place? I wouldn’t.
However, this is exactly what God did. He looked upon a people who had total disregard for him and his Holiness. He saw a people who broke every law ever given from the Garden of Eden to now. He felt the hatred of those with whom He desired to have a relationship. He felt their rejection. He provided for their needs and was never recognized as that provider. They deserved his wrath but instead they got a gift.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 )
When we read these words, do we really grasp what is being said here? While all of those who follow Jesus are “sons and daughters” of God, Jesus was unique. He was with God through all of eternity. All creation was made by his hands. Jesus gave life to all things. Jesus and God was the same being. But in a supernatural way that we can not begin to understand, God separated a part of himself to become a man. And that separated portion of himself He refered to as his Son.
The best way to understand this very slightly is to look at my son. He carries my DNA. I, in a way, created him. Without my DNA he would not exist.
In the same since, God created Jesus by giving a baby his DNA through the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the man, though still God by his DNA, was not the spritual God. We are told in John 4:24 that “God is spirit.” Jesus, however is flesh. And because Jesus is now flesh, his relationship with God, the Father has changed. The fact is that spirit and flesh can not coexist. God’s relationship with Jesus has been changed forever.
It was this relationship that God gave because when Jesus returned to the Father (Ephsians 1:20) he did so in the flesh.(Luke 24: 51) and Jesus remains in the flesh unable to be as one with God as He once was.
Now this sacrifice was not forced upon Jesus. He gave us this gift of himself willingly.
Philippians 2:6-7a “Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.”
The Holy Spirit is attempting to paint a picture that we might understand what Jesus gave up to leave heaven and come here.
In a kingdom at this time in history, the eldest son of a king would hold the same authority as his father. King Herod had several of his children put to death because he felt threatened by their power. The prince would live in the palace, and have slaves to care for his every need. Their would be no limit to his request and to having those request met.
And when traveling, he would have the king’s emblem with him, giving him all power afforded to his father, the king.
The picture painted here is one of heaven being the divine Kingdom where Jesus resided. There He had all the privileges afforded a Prince. But Jesus was sent on a mission outside the Kingdom and rather than take his Father’s emblem with him, He chose to leave it behind.