Summary: God’s Christmas gift to us and the gift that He expects in return.
What Do you Give Someone Who Has Everything
At this time of the year I always have the same problem. What to give my wife for Christmas? I’ve given her clothes in the past, just to see them return because they weren’t the right size or she didn’t like them. I’ve given her jewelry just to have it sit in the box and never worn. Men, giving your wife a new rod and reel or a garage door opener isn’t a good idea either. The one gift that your wife will appreciate more that anything is what the Bible instructs us to give. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her." There is no greater love than the love that Christ has for His church and our love for our wives should be true unconditional love.
With my teenage son, there is no problem. About a month before Christmas he going with us to the stores and pointing out things that he would love to have. Sometimes it seems that he has an endless list.
Let’s look at what God gave us and what we give him in return.
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
What greater gift can God give than his one and only Son? He loves us so much that He allowed His Son, Jesus Christ, to be born here on this earth. And this is what we are celebrating this Christmas season. God didn’t allow His Son to be born in luxurious surroundings or to parents of great wealth. But He told a young virgin girl named Mary that she would bear the Savior of the World. So Christ was born of a humble woman and in humble surroundings.
Jesus also gave us the greatest gift that a person could give.
13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to suffer and lay down His life for us. For parents, this is easy to understand. Which one of us wouldn’t give our life, to save the life of one of our children? This is true unconditional love. Jesus knew that He would have to suffer and die on the cross so that we might be saved, but Jesus also knew that He would be raised from the dead on the third day.
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-- only to take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
Think about what Jesus suffered because of us. Yes, it was our sins, yours and mine, that caused the nails to be driven through his hands. First the one hand and then the other. Have you ever hit your thumb with a hammer or closed a door on your finger? It is extremely painful. Think what it would feel like to have someone hammer a nail through your hand. It definitely would hurt worst than hitting your thumb with a hammer.
And then to have the same thing done to the other hand. Remember all this took place after He was flogged with His back cut and bleeding. A crown of thorns forced on His head causing pain and bleeding. And then having to carry the heavy wooden cross on his back for a long distance. I can’t imagine how much pain Jesus must have been in. I’m sure He must have had a headache too, greater than any migraine that you may have experienced.
After nailing His hands to the cross bar, they then placed his feet together and hammered a nail through both feet. I stumped by big toe before and that was painful, but driving a large nail though my feet would be more than I could endure. But Jesus endured all this pain and never passed out. And then they began to raise the cross up so the bottom would fall into a hole that had been chiseled out of the rock and the cross would stand upright. When the cross was almost vertical, the bottom slipped into the hole with a jarring thump. Can you imagine the pain that shot throughout Jesus’ body when the bottom of the cross fell into that hole? There is no way that I would be able to endure such pain. But Christ loves us so much that He endured all of this willingly.