We have now entered that stretch of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas where many people spend time searching for gifts for family and friends. Maybe you are more of a last-minute shopper or maybe you took part in that yearly event known as Black Friday. On this day, items of great value can be snatched up for a reduced price. Black Friday has also become the mark for many people that the Christmas season has officially begun. The decorations are brought out as Christmas music plays and our minds start to drift toward that familiar scene of baby Jesus placed in a manger.
Look with me for a moment today beyond that manger scene and consider the full magnitude of that gift that God picked out for you and for me. That baby placed in a manger is the Savior that we needed. Given to us as a gift, he lived his life for you and for me. He spent every waking moment living and breathing in our world to do what we could not. He was perfect in our place and then he died the death that our sins deserve.
We are not perfect. While these times around Christmas can bring out the best in people it can also bring out our worst. In the stress and the indulgence of the holiday season, our tempers might flare, our greed and selfishness may arise in subtle or terrible ways. We are not as nice as we ought to be. We are often downright naughty. Yet God’s Word tells us of how he was so incredibly generous with all of us. The Bible reveals that all people have sinned greatly, and yet it also shows us the incredible gift God gives for all of us in Jesus. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
The baby placed in a manager would live a perfect life in our place and that innocent one would go from the manger to the cross for us. And on that Good Friday where the sky turned black Jesus would give his blood and die as the gift that we so absolutely needed. A gift given in love, a gift freely given, that makes us right with God and sets us free from the debt, the guilt, and the punishment our sins deserve. God gives this gift not just to a certain few, but in his undeserved grace, he gives this gift to us all. What a gift of great value, given at this incredible price! What a gift, freely given in love for all!