Summary: Christmas message: Jesus best gift ever
What was the best or worst Christmas gift you ever received?
[Allow feedback] - Mine: best and worst same year
worst: bridal doll, humorous - tiger socks,
best - Ronda’s acceptance of my marriage proposal
We think a lot about gift giving at Christmas. I plan on going home after this service, having a few snacks, and then opening one gift. It’s a tradition at our house. We open one gift Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas morning. Receiving gifts is normally wonderful.
You probably heard about the woman who said to her husband, “This year, let’s give each other practical gifts, like neckties and fur coats.” He might have gotten the worse part of that.
This evening, let’s think about Jesus as a gift: the gift of God’s love. We have talked the last few weeks about Jesus being a treasure, a servant, a King, and a sacrifice. Tonight, think about Jesus being a gift, the best gift we could ever receive.
Normally every gift comes with a name card. To: someone, From: someone. In our family often we use different “pet” names on each gift. One might say, “To Ronda”, another might say, “To My Honeygirl”, another might say, “To my Snugglebunny.” The name card tells us who the gift is for. My mom used to write small, or try to hide the name so as kids, my four brothers and I wouldn’t know which package was for which brother. Let’s see the namecard for the gift of Jesus. It’s found in John 1:11&12. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
The gift of God in Jesus is available to any who will receive it.
We use a lot of fancy giftwrap to wrap our gifts. My brother used to always just use newspaper. It was a lot cheaper, and it got the job done. Part of the main reason for giftwrap is to help enhance the mystery and the surprise. Let’s consider the giftwrap of Jesus. Isaiah 53:2 says He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. Rather he took human form. Philippians 2 tells us he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Jesus came wrapped in human flesh and blood. He was willing to become a man.
The greatest gift came in ordinary wrappings.
We give gifts to those we love. There are those noble examples who give everyone. But most of us give to those we love. Those who are halfway friends get a fruitcake. Those who are close to us get something dear, a gift of love. Let’s consider the gift of Jesus. Jesus is the gift that showed the love of the Father. Rom. 5:6-8 - You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The gift of Jesus shows us the love of the Father.
Gifts that are very meaningful are often gifts that are given sacrificially. We appreciate gifts that someone took time to give thought to. Money is always nice to receive, and I hope I get a lot of it this Christmas. But often the most memorable gifts are the ones that involve sacrifice. You remember the story by O. Henry, “The Gift of the Magi.” A young couple, early in their marriage, didn’t have a lot of money for gift-giving. Each wanted to give a meaningful gift. The wife cut her long beautiful hair to buy a watch chain for her husband. The husband sold his watch to buy combs for his wife. Each gave dearly to provide a gift of love for the other.
What did the gift of Jesus cost? It cost Jesus his place in heaven. He who was made greater than the angels, humbled himself and took on human form. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. The Bible refers to Jesus as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. When God made the world, he knew that man would sin; and he knew that the redemption of man would come through the sacrifice of Jesus.
The gift of Jesus was a costly gift: only God the Father could afford to give it.