Summary: No one pays that much attention to the wrapping. It’s what is inside that counts . . . right? Maybe this Christmas we should stop and consider how the gift was wrapped.
Pt. 1 - In Humanity
There is usually very little attention paid to the wrappings. Even if great time and effort is made to make sure each corner is tucked and folded perfectly. Even if the bow is picked to match exactly. Even if every seam is precise. Most of the time all the attention is paid to the content. However, over the next few weeks and during this Christmas season I want us to reconsider what the content was wrapped in.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” which means “God with us”.
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
I. In Humanity
It is important for us to realize, recognize and remember that Jesus was wrapped in humanity! We know He was God. However, He was also wrapped in humanity. He could only be "God with us" if He was God in us! One of the most profound descriptions of Jesus found in Scripture is found in the John 1 . . . He became flesh. He could never move into our neighborhood if He hadn't been wrapped in flesh. Only God and we can't relate. Only man He can't save. But God in man and we have God with us and God for us!
We look at the contents of miracles that Jesus performed while walking with us and focus on that but look again at the miracle of the wrapping! God wrapped in flesh. He became like us to save us. He was wrapped in the same skin with the same aches and pains, the same emotions, the same imperfect, flawed package that I am wrapped in. He was wrapped in humanity. We tend to push past the wrapping to the God side of Jesus. However, this Christmas we need to remember that He was wrapped in flesh. So He wept. So He becomes angry. So He becomes hungry. So He becomes tired. So He sweats. So He obeys His parents. So He scares and worries His parents. So He is moved by compassion. So He feels. So He bleeds. So He stumbles under the weight of the cross. So He thirsts. So He thinks of His mother. So He feels betrayal. So He feels abandonment. He is wrapped in flesh. The writer of Hebrews said it best . . . "We don't have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities!" He doesn't have to imagine what it feels like He was wrapped in skin.
His fleshiness doesn't decrease my worship. It increases my belief in the fact that God loved me so much that He becomes like me to reach me. It reveals the lengths that He was willing to go to to get to me.
God inside/man outside. The Savior contained in skin. The Divine shrouded in derma.
We should be thankful for the wrapping.
And on a side note . . . God must think this concept worked because He continues to use the same method now. In fact, God is into regifting! God originally sent Jesus wrapped in skin. He now rewraps the gift of a Savior. How? Wrapped once again in skin . . . Our skin! He sends Jesus to those around us by sending Jesus in us!
Paul declares this in 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!