Taken from a blog written in 2019
I was so excited this Christmas about the gift I selected for my husband! It was something he needed, unexpected, actually something he never considered.
His home office chair was made up of bits and pieces from his previous chair and parts found at a thrift store. It worked and he was excited about his creation.
Yet I noticed that as he spent time in the chair, he slowly lowered. The hydraulics no longer worked. And at 6’2”, you need a chair’s hydraulics to work. Otherwise, you look like a giant sitting in a child’s chair – his knees creeping close to his ears.
So, his present was a leather desk chair. Of course, it came unassembled in a box – a very large heavy box! And when you are trying to surprise a person, a large heavy box is an obstacle. The store clerk loaded it into my car, it was unloaded at a friend’s house to wrap, reloaded by the same friends, and then I made my way home. Once there, I had this large wrapped present and no way to get in the house.
Standing at the tailgate of my car contemplating my challenge, my husband stepped out of the house. He asked, “Do you need help?” I reluctantly responded “yes,” but added, “don’t shake it” – as if he could really shake this thing.
We got it through the doorway, rested it on the floor near the Christmas tree and stood back to take in the enormity of the box. My husband turned to me and with his boyish smile asked,
What is it?
Is it for me?
I responded, “You’ll have to wait for Christmas day and yes, it is for you.”
For the next few days, he made statements about his present, speculated about its contents, and commented about the size and weight. I would catch him standing and staring at the box and then…
Christmas morning arrived.
He opened the big box last, still no clue about what was inside. His anticipation and excitement broke as he ripped open the wrapping paper to reveal his new office chair.
He was surprised. It was a practical gift; something needed, and quickly became his “best” Christmas gift.
God, in His goodness, gave us some amazing gifts.
He created us in His image, in His likeness – the gift of life. And even when we disobeyed Him, wandered aimlessly through a desert wilderness, He was sovereign. He sent His Son that Christmas morning making a way to reconcile us with God – the gift of new life.
You must understand that from the day God created us, He knew we would reject Him. He was never taken by surprise, never stunned by our actions. He has always known our disobedience would lead to the ultimate sacrifice, the life of His Son.
Hundreds of years before Jesus crucifixion, Isaiah prophesied,
(5) But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
(6) We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
(7) He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
(8) By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.
(9) He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53: 5-12 New International Version (NIV)
Take a minute to allow that to sink in. God never had a Plan-B, He has always known – Christmas would lead to crucifixion. A sacrifice that led to the best gift, the gift of eternal life.
Roman’s 5:6-8 says,
(6) You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (7) Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. (8) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us… (21) so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The greatest gift, our sins forgiven and eternal life with our Father.
As we close 2020, I encourage you to remember God’s great love for you. From the creation of the world and throughout history,
He remains close.
He loves you.
You are His BeLOVED!