Posted: 27th December, 2015

The Greatest Gift EVER!

What a gift for US is Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. Heaven is opened for us!

But as great as that gift of salvation is (and it is great!) that’s NOT the ultimate gift.

Are you surprised? Jesus’ gift of life and salvation to us is not the greatest gift. What is God’s greatest gift then? You might be thinking that the ultimate gift has to do with the 3 wise men and the gifts they brought to Jesus, but this isn’t it either. The crowning glory of the incarnation of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the gifts He gives to us, or even the gifts that were given to Him by the magi. Rather, it has everything to do with those gifts given to Him by the FATHER.

What gift did the Father give to Jesus? On His last night on earth, as Jesus awaits death, even the death of the cross, Jesus cries out for His gift as He cries to His Father: “Give THEM to Me. I want them, and I want them to be with Me.” In Psalm 2, God says, “You are My Son. Ask of Me and I will surely give to You.” And here is Jesus, coming to His Father, and saying to Him about US: “They are Mine Father. You promised them to Me. They are My reward.” The hour of the cross becomes the moment of fulfilment of this great and eternal promise of God, where Jesus gets His reward for being the Saviour.

The astounding thing is this: WE are Jesus’ reward!!! WE are the joy set before Him that Jesus says enabled Him to endure a cross that He so despised. WE are the gift that is given by the Father to Jesus! This is not a one-time gift that is put aside and forgotten. We are a gift Jesus treasures and keeps with Him for the rest of eternity.

This is the reality: YOU WHO LOVE JESUS, YOU WHO ARE BELIEVERS IN CHRIST, ARE THE HIGHEST EXPRESSION OF LOVE THAT GOD CAN SHOW FOR HIS SON. We are His gift forever. We are His reward forever for all that He has done. Do you know what this makes us? This makes us ‘love gifts’. We are the Father’s love gift to the Son!

There is nothing that more perfectly shows the love of the Father for the Son than the FACT that He gives US to Jesus. And the Son promises God that through all of eternity He will take care of US. That’s His promise. He says: “I didn’t lose one of them that You gave to Me”; “I give them eternal life and no one shall ever snatch them out of my hand.”

Our response to all of this should be to cry out with the apostle John “What manner of love is this, that we should be called children of God, and that’s what we are.” Friends, we aren’t just given to Jesus as a piece of property or as a decoration. We are God’s children. We are brothers and sisters of Christ. We are those who are fully, totally, permanently, irreversibly adopted into God’s family.

This is what it’s all about. Have you experienced the love of Christ? Have you become one of God’s kids? Has Jesus died for YOU??? Is He truly the Lord of your life? If Jesus is your Lord, then you are His gift! YOU are the greatest gift ever given, and it was given to Jesus by the Father. And that is not all. You are not just Jesus’ gift, but you are given a gift as well. If Jesus is your Lord, then Jesus is YOUR gift!

Every year, the ladies in our church hold a gift exchange a few weeks before Christmas, and I know that they have a really good time. But today we are talking about another, a far greater gift exchange. This is an exchange where:

we became Jesus’ gift from the Father,

Jesus became God’s gift to us,

and our sin became our gift to Jesus.

You see, we had nothing to give that was lovely. We were dead in our sin. All we could give to Jesus was our sin, and what is absolutely amazing is that in this gift exchange HE TOOK IT. Jesus didn’t try to get rid of it, or give it to someone else. He simply took it, even though our sin hurled Him into the furnace of God’s fury. So while our sins crushed Him, His love brought us into God’s family.

That, my friend, is an awesome gift. YOU, yes YOU, receive salvation and Jesus Christ Himself; and YOU, yes YOU are the evidence that God loves the Son. So that as Jesus looks out from the cross, under the weight of our crushing load of sin and death, He looks in faith upon us all, even as His soul screams in agony; He sees His gift and says of the Father, “He really loves me.”

Dear friend, you can say that too. It doesn’t matter how your life has been. It doesn’t matter what you have done. It doesn’t matter how deeply you’ve been disappointed. It doesn’t matter how terribly you’ve been hurt. If today you come in repentance and humble reliance upon Jesus Christ, and trust Him for your salvation, and rest upon His mercy and grace alone, then you too can say of Him, even if you can’t say it of anyone else, “God loves me. He REALLY loves me.”

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