Christmas Gifts

With Christmas Trees all decked in splendor, houses lit from tip to top, and Santa coming soon, what are the many gifts of Christmas?  Well, I assure you, as jolly a demeanor as good ole Saint Nicholas portrays, the toys for all the little “tots” he bears are, indeed, not the many gifts of Christmas.

 

Not by glorious sleigh, but in a humble manger

ISAIAH 53:1-3

1 Who has believed our message? and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

 

Who will believe this message, that our gift is Christ the savior Himself?  Born of the fullness of God’s grace and shinning as a Light out of the darkness, resonating the Truth to every ear that would hear.  Indeed, He came in a dry and parched land, void of all royal majesty, though He Himself was the fullness of God’s deity, and endured sorrows and grief as He was despised and forsaken by all men.

 

The Scarlet Robe

MATTHEW 27:27-29

 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

Just as the earthly tabernacle was adorned with scarlet, so Jesus was adorned with scarlet; as the priests wore scarlet, so also Jesus wore scarlet; so even the veil had scarlet, therefore Jesus was veiled in scarlet (Exodus 35, 36, & 38).
But this scarlet is more than a sign: it was our gift- for, according to the Law, all things are cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22).
Hebrews 9:14
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Therefore we are cleansed by the scarlet blood of Christ.  He took upon Himself the scarlet robe, a sign of shame in the eyes of those who mocked Him, but a sign of redemption unto the world!

gifts of suffering and death unto fellowship

And if there has been bloodshed, there also has been suffering and death.

ISAISH 53:4-6

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed  for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

So we are receiving, this Christmas, the gift of suffering from our Lord Jesus Christ; because it is by His suffering that we were healed.  When His blood was shed, and His body broken- laid to rest in a tomb for 3 days- He then took back His life and was raised again by the resurrection of the Spirit.
PHILIPPIANS 3:10
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
Now we also have received His sufferings so that we may also receive His death and resurrection!  Knowing that the death He died, He died to the flesh, and the life He lives, He lives to the Spirit- therefore, if we also join Him in this way, then we too will live with Him eternally by the Spirit!

a helper forever

John 14:16-17
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know HIm because He abides with you and will be in you. 
And it is because our resurrection will take place by the Spirit that He will give us the Holy Spirit- the Helper, by whom we’re guided into Truth.
Though we cannot see the Spirit of Truth, we know HIm because He abides with us and in us.  And this is the gift of Christ because He has gone into the Heavenly tabernacle to minister for us in the presence of God!
So, even as we are oppressed and persecuted, we’re not abandoned nor forsaken because He, the Spirit of Truth is with us forever.  He testifies of the hope that we have in the glory of Christ’s return, that we are the children of God, and therefore, heirs and coheirs with Christ.  So that at the return of Christ we will glory in Him and we will be joined with our Brother- if indeed we have been made like Him through His death and resurrection!

Inheritance to come

Because of Christ Jesus, the Lord who was born a little lower than the angels for a short while- even resting in a manger- we have an inheritance stored up for us and preserved in Heaven, an inheritance that will come with Christ Jesus when He returns to receive to Himself those that are His!

Namely, those who are called children of God- that those who have believed in Him and partaken in His death and resurrection, will likewise share in His inheritance by His grace and love.

And this inheritance is so great that we cannot even speak of it while we are yet still on Earth!  For we cannot perceive yet what is to come, though it has been revealed in Christ- it is beyond us still.

That is why it is called hope and faith; because we know what we have in Christ Jesus while still not having obtained it yet.  So, for a little while we still have not obtained it but are persevering towards it!

 

Therefore, this Christmas, we must rejoice in what we have been given by Jesus Christ- not the empty perishing things of this world, which are not even worthy to have, but of the things that we have set our minds on- Heavenly things at the right hand of God.

Be blessed in receiving these gifts- knowing that if you have them, the are once and forever, AMEN!

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