Summary: Let’s face it. Most of what we will get this year for Christmas will not really matter 6 months from now. However, God’s gifts do. They last for all eternity. And we are going to be unwrapping His gifts this Christmas season.
Peace. Love. Joy. Hope. We know that all of these things are the themes of Christmas. We see the ads, the commercials, the programs… Everyone is all smiles and full of joy. And most of us are going to tap into at last some of that.
But gathered around your Christmas dinner table or at your office party or in the foyer at your church will be some people who will have put up a brave front, but who are hiding some deep hurts.
Someone’s in the dark. Maybe it’s a young woman who has just started a career. The education is behind her, but no doors are opening. Or maybe it’s a wife or a husband whose spouse just walked out on them. They’re confused and perplexed. They don’t know what to do. In the dark.
But God has given a gift for people who are in the dark.
Someone’s in the wrong. Maybe it’s a dad who can’t believe he just treated his son or daughter the way he did this past week. Or maybe it’s person who can’t believe that sexual temptation got the best of them again. They’re guilty and liable. In the wrong.
But God has given a gift for people who are in the wrong.
Someone’s all alone. Maybe it’s a young woman who just started a dream job. She’s a young professional now, but her boss just let her go. Maybe it’s a teenage girl who’s never had a date. Now, she’s wondering what it’s going to feel like to not get asked to the prom. Or maybe it’s a little boy who’s never picked first or second or third when kids choose teams at school. He’s always last. There’s no one to help or defend them. All alone.
But God has given a gift for people who are feeling all alone.
Let’s face it. Most of what we will get this year for Christmas will not really matter 6 months from now. However, God’s gifts do. They last for all eternity. And we are going to be unwrapping His gifts this Christmas season.
An angel announced the birth of Jesus to some shepherds. Shepherds were in their fields keeping watch over their flocks. The birth announcement carried with it the gifts that Jesus gives to us.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Last year, we unwrapped the gift: “freedom from fear.” Storms come into our lives and they make us afraid. However, we can have a sense of security since Jesus has us in His hand. He brings us through the storms. This little baby born at Christmas grew up to be the One who gives us a freedom from fear.
Then, we unwrapped the gift: “good news.” We are lost in a sea of sin, drowning. However, in Christ, we have good news. He is our life preserver. He says, “Friend, your sins are forgiven!”
Next, we unwrapped the gift: “Great joy.” We learned that we get more joy when we meditate more on Jesus, communicate more to Jesus, and celebrate more with Jesus.
Finally, we unwrapped the gift: “Savior.”
What is the gift for me to unwrap?
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
The gift for us to unwrap today is this gift from God: the Christ. The gift that God gave us that first Christmas was
Maybe you did not know that Christ is not Jesus’ last name. In fact, when He was born, His name was Jesus ben Joseph. Jesus, son of Joseph. He did not have a last name as we have last names. “Christ” roles off our tongues like a last name, but the people in Jesus’ day would have known it as a title, an office, a position of holy responsibility.
Christ = christos (Greek) = anointed One
anointed One = mashiyach (Hebrew) = Messiah
Exodus 30: 23-25 gives us the ingredients for the oil. Myrrh. Cinnamon. Sweet cane. Cassia. Olive oil.
Who were the anointed ones in the Bible?
Elisha… you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
I Kings 19:16b (NASB)
He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.
Leviticus 8:12 (NASB)
An ancient Jewish Rabbi, Maimonides, reported that the high priest was anointed by pouring oil on his head and rubbing it on his forehead crosswise. This mark was the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a taw. It was shaped like a cross. A taw served as a mark of ownership. This was the Lord’s method of saying – this one is mine.