It is nighttime, and I find myself checking my Amazon App on my iPhone once again. The tracking for my package has been updated! Looks like the delivery will be on time. It’s amazing how quickly packages can travel from the Amazon warehouse facility to my doorstep in Hawaii. I’ve already ordered a bunch of gifts online in anticipation for slower delivery as we get closer to Christmas day.
During this holiday season, many of us do a lot of online shopping. Perhaps at least part of your Christmas shopping will be through online stores such as Amazon, or Walmart, or Target. We place our orders, then wait and anticipate its arrival. We are for sure in the age of instant gratification. If you’re like me you sometimes get impatient when waiting for your plane, or your food to arrive at a restaurant, or your Amazon package to arrive sooner than 2 weeks. Well, imagine waiting 400+ years for your package to be delivered. The Jewish people were waiting for their Messiah (Savior) to arrive. There is an Old Testament Prophecy that says:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
-Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
When Jesus was born, the long wait was over. God sent His Son Jesus to this world to save us from our sin. The arrival of the Savior Jesus meant that people would soon have access to the gift of eternal life.
Christmas gifts can be an interesting topic to study. We give each other gifts based upon the status of our relationships. We give out of obligation when someone unexpectedly gives us a gift. We sometimes even give gifts to ourselves during this season.
But a difficult challenge for us is to give gifts to those who mistreat us. A lot of times those people are not even on our radar for gift giving. Yet this is what God did for us by sending Jesus to this broken world. This amazing gesture wasn’t something that God was obligated to do. In fact God did it out of love:
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
-Romans 5:8 (NIV)
So, what does the arrival of Jesus mean for us? There are a lot of implications, but I would like to focus on three.
Jesus’ arrival meant that the King of kings had come to earth. Jesus was born when the Roman empire was at its prime, and the great Han Dynasty ruled over China. The rulers of these empires were powerful, but Jesus had greater power. More than any of those rulers could ever imagine. Jesus was going to demonstrate that He was the King of a kingdom that would last forever.
Jesus’ arrival also meant that the Savior had come to earth. Jesus was going to make all things new. The religious physical sacrifices and offerings of the Old Testament were going to be replaced. The sinner would soon be forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Lastly, Jesus’ arrival meant that we could look directly at God for the first time. In the Old Testament times, seeing the face of God would’ve meant death because of God’s holiness. Moses got to see the back of God, but even he couldn’t see God’s face. But everyone who saw Jesus, was looking directly at God!
So, in this Christmas season let’s remember that God gave us Jesus. Pastor Greg Laurie once said, “the gift says a lot about the giver.” The gift of Jesus, and the gift of eternal life reveals how much God loves us. Jesus’ arrival meant that the King, and Savior had come to earth. It also meant that we could see God’s face. So…every time a package arrives in the month of December, remember that Jesus was delivered in Bethlehem a little over 2000 years ago. Let’s look toward Jesus as we remember that the greatest gift has arrived.