by Pastor Stan Gale
Pretend it’s your birthday. What would you think if people gave presents to everyone else but not to you? That would be a strange birthday.
Isn’t that what happens at Christmas? It’s the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth but we are the ones getting the presents. Or giving presents to others.
Why is that?
It’s because Jesus’ birthday is so different from ours. For one thing, Jesus existed before He was born. He is God. And God has always existed, even before our parents and grandparents. Even before the whole world. Even before anything.
At his birth, Jesus was born a human baby—just like the rest of us. He is God who always existed but He was born into this world through His mother. Her name was Mary. So Jesus has a birthday.
But why do we get presents on Jesus’ birthday? That is what makes Christmas so special.
The whole reason Jesus was born into this world was so that God could give us a gift. Jesus didn’t come to get presents. He came to give presents.
He came to give us a gift we could never buy for ourselves. Our parents could not buy it. All the money in the world could not buy it.
Jesus came to buy us a gift by giving His life. He did that on the cross, where He died to pay the price for our sins.
The gift Jesus bought for us, that only He could buy for us, is forgiveness of our sins. That means we don’t have to be punished by God for the bad things we do. Even more special, because of the gift that Jesus bought, we get to live forever with God.
Usually when we receive a birthday gift or a Christmas present, it comes wrapped in pretty paper. We have to unwrap it to see what it is. We can’t play with it or wear it if it’s wrapped.
That’s the way it is with the present Jesus bought for us. We have to unwrap it. We do that through faith. Faith says something like this: “Jesus, thank you for being born. Thank you for buying the forgiveness of my sins when you died on the cross. Thank you for buying a present no one else could. I love you and I accept your present to me. I want to belong to you now and to live with You forever.”
It’s strange that we give and get presents on someone else’s birthday. But that’s what God had planned. Christmas is a celebration of God sending His Son, Jesus, as the greatest gift of all. Each of us can have that gift through believing in Jesus to save us from our sins and give us life with Him forever.