One of the time-honored Christmas traditions we love to observe is the custom of exchanging presents. We pay a visit to a local shopping mall (or perhaps surf online) that we might search out and purchase items for sharing with family members. We gift-wrap our presents and tuck them away in a secret location or position them under the Christmas tree until the day arrives for sharing and opening them.
Unfortunately, sometimes it happens that the gifts we give turn out to be unwise choices. The sweater purchased for sister Sarah ends up being a size too large. The gloves wrapped up for Uncle George turn out to be too tight for his bear-sized hands. The electronic toy picked out for little brother Joey turns out to be broken or defective. As a result, often we end up taking the item back to the store for exchange or refund.
We Christians may rejoice today.
When Christ was born to comfort and to save us.
Who thus believes No longer grieves,
For none are lost who grasp the hope He gave us.
It’s not likely our Christmas shopping skills will ever be honed to perfection. Nor is the day likely to come when merchandise return lines at the store aren’t needed.
Yet isn’t it comforting that the gift our heavenly Father picked out for us at Christmas –Jesus, His holy Son – was a “perfect fit,” exactly what we needed!
…In Small Packages…
We needed this Gift because we all are born with the stain of sin embedded in the fabric of our hearts. On account of those sin-stains we were destined to be cut off from our holy God forever, with no prospect of enjoying a peaceful relationship with Him now or living with Him in the joys of heaven hereafter. However, in the little Lord Jesus we have been provided with the robe of holiness necessary to cover our sin-stains.
How did Jesus accomplish this work of love? He grew from infancy to childhood to adolescence to manhood. All along the pathway of His life He showed perfect love for God and His fellow man. He fulfilled each of the Ten Commandments flawlessly as our Substitute, overcoming every sinister temptation of the devil. Then He suffered the shame and punishment on the accursed cross that we deserved for our failure to keep God’s commandments. Finally, Jesus rose from the grave on Easter morning, proving beyond all doubt that He is the world’s true Messiah and that His heavenly Father accepted His holy life and innocent death as the perfect ransom for the sins of all.
The “package” which arrived for us at that first Christmas was small – God’s Son entering our world as an infant. But just as some of the best presents we receive often come in small packages, so God’s gift to us of the little Lord Jesus is of exceedingly precious value.
Praise God this Yuletide Season for His priceless Gift to you nestled in the hay of Bethlehem’s manger. It’s just the gift each of us needed.