How many of you wait till the last minute to do your Christmas shopping? I have to raise both hands on that one. I look for one store to buy all my presents for everyone on my list. This store has to gift wrap also. One stop shopping as close to Christmas as possible is pretty risky. There are sometimes few selections and long lines. Last minute shopping can feel like you are going through the motions or even an afterthought. Putting thought and purpose into our giving can show love and appreciation for others.
When God sent His Son Jesus to this earth to be born, creating the first Christmas, it was on purpose. God’s gift of Jesus was no last ditch effort to give a gift. It certainly was no afterthought. Long before God put Jesus in a manger He purposed Him to die for our sins. Jesus was born in a manger so we might have a home in heaven. God thought of sending Jesus long before He thought of creating Adam and Eve. Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” God send Jesus at the perfect time to save man from their sins.
The old covenant, or time before Jesus’ death and resurrection, was a picture of what Jesus Christ would do. God was not short-sighted or ignorant. Genesis 3:15 prophesied to the first people ever created that Jesus would come. The first covenant’s purpose was to expose sin. Jesus’ purpose was to defeat sin. Jesus came to fulfill the laws of the first covenant, not to destroy them (Matthew 5:17). He became our High Priest (Hebrews 6:20) and ultimate sacrifice for sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
God decided from the very beginning that Jesus would come to earth to be born, live, die, and rise from death for our sins. God’s gift of Jesus is the true meaning of Christmas. The gift of eternal life is no last-minute afterthought. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
God’s gift is far better than any gift we could ever give or receive. This gift was undeserved and unsolicited. We are not worthy of it nor did we ask for it. God saw in advance our need of salvation – “while we were still in our sin, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). This gift was unlimited and unspeakable. Hebrews 2:9 says Jesus by the grace of God tasted death for every man. 1 John 2:2 says, “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for us only but also for the sins of the whole world.” Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
God never gives anything but the best. That’s why He gave His only Son for our sins. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” God gave the most costly, precious, and timeless gift of all – Jesus. Human gifts will eventually disappoint and disappear but God’s gift will eternally satisfy and sustain.