The Unwrapping of the Gift
God's loved revealed in Jesus
A gift-wrapped package
When my children were little I’d come home and see the presents under the tree had been moved and I’d KNOW somebody had been messing with them. Kids would try to lift up the wrapping so they could peek and see what’s in there. It’s a long time between Thanksgiving when the presents start appearing under the tree till Christmas when they were opened – 30 days or so & it’s hard to wait.
I want to tell you a story this morning about a Christmas present that wasn’t fully opened for 33 YEARS, not days, but YEARS! Now that’s a long time to wait and wonder what’s in the box!
Once upon a time God asked a teenaged girl named Mary if she would help him give a gift to the whole world. Mary said Yes and so one night in Bethlehem, the gift was delivered (who was the gift?) Mary took strips of cloth and wrapped up the gift nice and snug and she spent the next years taking very good care of God’s gift to the world. And just like my children who peeked into their gifts, there were many folks who got a peek at God’s gift to the world.
A man named Jairus was one. He had a little daughter who got really sick and she died. Jairus went to Jesus and asked Jesus to heal his little girl. Jairus got a peek of the HOPE God’s gift brings to the world when Jesus brought his little girl back to life.
Jesus helpers got a peek at God’s gift when they were in a boat out on the lake and a big storm came. The winds blew and the waves were high and Jesus friends were scared they were going to die. So they woke Jesus up and they got a peek at God’s gift to the world when Jesus told the storm to be still, and the water became PEACEFULl.
A blind man who had never seen anything at all since he was born got a peek at God’s gift to the world when Jesus spit in the dirt, put the mud on the man’s eyes and the blind man could see! God’s Gift brought the blind man great JOY.
Then one night in a garden some soldiers got a peek at God’s Gift when they came to get Jesus to take him to the cross. His friend Peter was frightened and he wanted to protect Jesus. So he took his sword and he cut one of the men’s ear off. The man got a peek of the LOVE of Jesus when Jesus reached out, touched his ear and healed it.
The next day when Jesus took his Cross to Calvary, we all got a peek of his Love as He died there for our sins. After He died, some friends took his body down and wrapped it with some strips of cloth (much like his mother Mary had done when he was a tiny baby in the stable 33 years before). Then they carried his body to a tomb (maybe a cave) and put a big stone there to block the door so nobody could steal God’s Gift to the world. A couple of days later, some friends came back to the tomb to check on Jesus Body and they saw the big stone was rolled away and the tomb was open! Two other friends looked inside and saw that the GIFT had finally been unwrapped. The only thing left was just the strips of cloth that the GIFT had been wrapped in!
God’s gift to the whole world, the very FIRST Christmas present EVER, was born in Bethlehem and the world waited for 33 YEARS for it to be unwrapped. During those years, People got peeks of the HOPE and PEACE and JOY and LOVE that God’s Gift would bring. But ONLY when Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead was God’s Gift finally unwrapped.
You know that new toy or video game that you got for Christmas--- the more time you spend with that game the more you learn about it. The more time you spend with Jesus, the more you’ll learn about Him, too. Let’s Pray. Christmas has come and gone & All the gifts are unwrapped. Lord I thank you for that first Christmas Gift that you gave to the whole world. I challenge us all to FULLY Unwrap God’s Gift, and spend a lot of time this next year learning and getting to know Him better.