Summary: When is the last time you looked at God’s gifts under "His tree?"
GOD’S CHRISTMAS TREE AND HIS GIFTS
At this time of the year in homes all across America you will find a Christmas tree with presents underneath. It is one of the symbols of Christmas that stand out in this country as much as any and more than most.
The Christmas tree has become a part of our season, and any pagan connections it originally may have had were lost long ago—just as were the names of the days of our week which also had their origin in pagan beliefs.
Simply stated, the truth of Christ birth or the Christmas Season is that God the Son, the second person of the trinity, became the babe of the cradle, that He might become the man of the cross, that He might die as our sinless substitute to release us from the penalty of sin, and reconcile us to God that we might receive eternal life and live abundantly through His life, and all of this as a gift by faith in Christ.
God’s Word actually refers to both Christ Jesus, His person, and His death on the cross, His work, by either the word “tree,” or by terms associated with a tree.
One of the words in the NT which is translated cross at times is the word Xulon [zulon]. This word is used of both a tree and of the cross. The point is that one of the words used in the NT for the cross is a word that also means “tree,” “wood,” or “a piece of wood” and hence, anything made of wood.
Acts 5:30 – “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree [zulon].”
Acts 13:29 – “Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree [zulon] and laid Him in a tomb.”
1 Peter 2:24 – “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
In the OT, the Messiah is viewed prophetically in terms that relate to a tree.
(1) He is portrayed as a shoot or branch which would grow out of the cut down stump of the hours of David. Isaiah 11:1 – “There shall come forth a Rod [shoot] from the stem [trunk] of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”
(2) He is also seen as “the Branch of the Lord,” as “the Righteous Branch,” & as “God’s Servant, the Branch” whom God would raise up on the human scene to give righteousness and life to the nation, and to all who would believe in Him.
From these passages in both the Old and New Testaments, we see that God has His own Christmas tree in the person of His Son and in His Son’s work or death on a tree, the cross. But note, God’s tree is not decorated with lights and ornaments or tinsel, nor surrounded underneath with gifts or presents filled with perishable items purchased from our vain manner of life. Rather, under God’s tree are imperishable gifts of infinite value which were purchased by the death of God’s Son on God’s tree, the Cross.
*But just how does a person acquire God’s Tree with its abundance of imperishable gifts? And what are some of these magnificent gifts?
God’s Christmas Tree
As we think about acquiring God’s tree with its imperishable gifts, several wonderful passages come immediately to mind:
Isaiah 55:1 – “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
John 4:10 – “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
Revelation 21:6 – “And He said to me, ‘it is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”
Revelation 22:17 – “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come!” And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
God’s Tree is a Gift of God
Scripture stresses that salvation is by grace through faith ALONE in the work of God in Christ ALONE, not by religious or moral works which men perform.
Ephesians 2:8,9 – “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”