Jesus – God’s Perfect Gift To Mankind
“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11 NKJV
No one in our generation can testify to the accuracy of the date of birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus was likely not born on 25 December. And this is not disputable! But Christmas is not about the celebration of the “Day” Jesus was born; it has everything to do with the celebration of Jesus Christ - God’s Perfect Gift to mankind. The “Day”, 25thDecember did not die for our sins, to save us from eternal condemnation and reconcile us to God. Jesus did. The “Day”, 25th December did not manifest so that it might destroy the works of the devil. Jesus did (1 John 3:8). To celebrate the birth of the Messiah, a “Day” must be set aside in commemoration. And 25th of December happens to be that fortunate Day!
God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:27) and put our pioneer ancestral parents, Adam and Eve in a place of perfect Peace and Treasure (The Garden of Eden) where He only had meetings and direct communications with them, but Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ipso facto lost their right to perfect Peace and Treasure, and in the process, were thrown out of that place of eternal tranquillity by their very Creator, Master and Friend – God.
The sin of Adam and Eve rubbed on all generations of mankind. It brought corruption, curse, condemnation and death to the hitherto perfectly and beautifully made creation in God’s own image – man and woman.
With sin, “the soul of man experienced a schism with God’s Spirit. The only solution to bridge this great divide and bring mankind back in relationship with God would require a work of atonement.”
Let me make it abundantly clear here that the work of atonement is not limited to the first sin that Adam and Eve committed, it also takes care of the sins that we ourselves have committed.
Our God is the God of Love (Αγάπη – Agape). His love for man is beyond human imagination and comprehension. To put it more succinctly, He has a ridiculous love for mankind! God knew that man will fall; therefore He provided safeguards for their redemption even before the foundation of the world:
“…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.(I Peter 1:18-20 NKJV).
Jesus is God’s perfect Gift (Lamb) that was foreordained for the redemption of man even before the foundation of the world. At the fullness of time, He came into the earth that He made through birth process. He wrapped Himself in flesh and blood, and chose to be born of a woman like every human being, to fulfil that purpose:
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:4-7 NKJV).
Realising the gravity of the yoke of the burden of the law under which we were condemned because of sin, which Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice broke, no celebration to commemorate Him on the date of His birth is enough!
When the Apostle Paul wrote that God sent Jesus in order to redeem those under the law, he was talking about all generations of mankind – you and me. We were lost in our sins and separated from God. We could not on our own restore ourselves to a relationship with Him, but God wanted us to be free to re-establish a relationship with Him. In order to remove the barrier that stood in-between our relationship with Him, God sent Jesus “that we might receive the adoption as [His] sons and daughters, if you like.
Jesus is the Perfect Gift of God to mankind!
The Bible records in Mathew 2:11 that, Jesus was presented with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh on His birth by the three wise men, magi from the East. Because of this, Christmas as a festivity commemorating the birth of Christ has taken the traditional profile of a period when folks give and exchange gifts.
During Christmas season, post offices world-wide are awash with parcels and overwhelmed with extra work-load of sorting and sending out various sizes and kinds of these parcels, cards and letters containing gifts and good wishes that people send across to their friends, loved ones, colleagues and acquaintances in the giving-spirit of the festivity.
Also, the birth of Jesus was greeted with unspeakable joy. “When they saw the star [over the place where baby Jesus was lying], they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” (Matthew 2:10).
In the same vein, the angel brought to the shepherds a message of joy. “Then the angel said to them, Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11 NKJV).
“Joy” therefore has become an integral part of Christmas. Churches, offices, theatre houses, pubs, streets, name it, are abuzz with all kinds of activities that make human beings feel good during the celebration of Christmas.
The irony and very unfortunate thing, is that only a few in the world understand the joy of Christmas and why it is celebrated in the first place. Many have simply lost its meaning and others do not even know why they celebrate it with such a gusto of unqualified joy.
This article is intended to remind readers of the precious and perfect Gift of God to mankind in the Person of Jesus Christ in whose honour we celebrate Christmas. God wanted us to be freed from sin and to live in harmony with Him with a peace of mind. For this reason, He sent Jesus “that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
As you celebrate Jesus - the wonderful Gift of God to you in this Christmas, rejoice that by His Gift, you have been adopted into His family through Jesus Christ.
Christmas is neither about ordinary celebration nor the celebration of evil gods. It is all about the celebration of the greatest Gift of God to you. Celebrate Jesus with joy in this Christmas.
Emeka Reuben Okala is the Editor of Pentecostal Truth – a quarterly magazine published by the United Pentecostal Church of Great Britain & Ireland, UPC GB&I. www.upcgbi.org.uk and the Pastor of an extension work of the Life Tabernacle UPC at Forest Gate in East London. www.lifetablondon.org