I want you to take a moment and think about the best Christmas gift you ever got. What did it look like? What did you feel when you saw it or opened it? Can you appreciate it like it was just yesterday?
I remember coming downstairs when I was seven years old. There in front of the tree was the most amazing gift ever. It was a chromed-out Schwinn Predator P-2200 BMX bike. It was silver accented with blue chrome. That thing just screamed awesome! It was the first bike that I ever had with hand brakes. That Christmas day, all I wanted to do was ride my new bike, so my dad and I went out on some back roads. We were having an amazing time when all of a sudden out of nowhere there was a huge hill that bottomed out into a junkyard. As I came over the hill, I tried as hard as my little hands could to squeeze the hand brakes, but my hands just weren’t strong enough. I flew down that hill at what seemed like 100 mph and crashed into a pile of car parts. I was bleeding everywhere. My knees were skinned up, my elbows were skinned up, and I cried the whole way home. That accident scared me, but it didn’t keep me from trying to learn how to ride that bike and learn how to use the brakes. It was the most amazing gift, and I was driven to learn everything I could about the bike.
When I think about Christmas, I feel the same way. Christmas for me is a time for good gifts and family, but more than that it is a time to remember that “The Light” came down to earth, into our darkness, to save us and give us the greatest gift that humanity has ever seen.
Speaking of Jesus, John writes in the first chapter of his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John reminds us that Jesus is the light of our lives. He came to overcome the darkness that began with the fall in Genesis and ends with His triumphant return in Revelation. In Genesis 1:3, at the very beginning of creation, “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light and it was good.” Creation began with light, and just as it begins, the Bible ends with light when it says in the final chapter of Revelation, 22:5, “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.”
What Jesus accomplished in his birth and eventual death and resurrection will create a moment in our future as believers that will take away all darkness, pain, and suffering we experience in this life. It will become eternal light as John writes in Revelation. Charles Ellicott, the distinguished theologian writes, “the darkness in which the saints and sorrowing walked shall be dispelled, when God gives them light. No artificial light is needed since He who is Light is their light. Those who were children of light now dwell in the light of God’s countenance, and they reign who were made kings and priests to God.”
Those who were children of light now dwell in the light of God’s countenance, and they reign who were made kings and priests to God.
Because of this amazing gift that was given through the light coming to the world and defeating darkness on the cross, we will experience an eternity of light devoid of night. What an amazing gift! It makes me want more than anything to learn everything I can about the giver of good gifts.
This Christmas season is not about me or my family but about what God gave me when he sent his son to earth. The beautiful thing is that Christmas has always been about the cross. Jesus was born this season with one purpose: to die.
The writer of Hebrews says in chapter 10:5-7, “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, “Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.”’”
Christmas is about the obedience of Christ to God the father.
The birth of Jesus stands in the middle of history to make much of God, shines a light on God, and exposes him as being completely unlike any other god in history. It makes much of a God that gave that kind of a gift to the world. I want to spend my life giving back to the Light of the World that stepped out into my darkness.