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Christmas is all about the pressies!

December 10, 2013

Christmas-Present-2Without doubt one of the best things about Christmas is the presents. When I was younger I loved getting presents at Christmas time, now I’m a little older I’ve swapped over to the other side where I really enjoy giving the presents. I can’t wait to see Caleb-Jack and Reuben’s faces as they open up their stockings on Christmas morning – I’m ridiculously excited about it all.

Bex and I have tried to put some thought into what gifts we think the boys will not only enjoy but also what we think will be helpful for their development as they continue to grow. However as forward thinking as we try to be as parents, it’s unlikely that we will ever be able to give the boys gifts that are as significant to their lives as the ones that the Wise Men brought for the baby Jesus in the Nativity story.

Jesus was given gold, frankincense and myrrh. But I wonder if you’ve ever asked yourself why?

Well believe it or not these gifts were actually incredibly significant to not just who Jesus was at the time, but who He would go onto be, and what He would go onto do.

gold-bar-hd-wallpapers-background1The first gift we read of is GOLDSurely this would have been received with much gratitude – who wouldn’t want a gift of gold at Christmas time? Gold is synonymous with wealth and significance. The bible refers to Jesus as the King of all Kings. In the book of Philippians in the New Testament we read that Jesus left infinite glory behind to become a man. This gift of gold tells us that Jesus is a King and more than that, the gold tells us that He is precious.

2152_antique-copper-frankincense-containerThe second gift we read of is FRANKINCENSE. If you lived at the time of Jesus and you were a Jew then you would have understood the significance of this gift. Frankincense was incense used in the temple by the High Priest in offering sacrifices to God. The book of Hebrews, in the New Testament tells us that Jesus came as our great High Priest to mediate on our behalf. He offered Himself as our sacrifice; once and for all. This gift of frankincense tells us that Jesus came to make a way for us to get back to God.

myrrh-gum-1The third gift we read of is MYRRH. This is probably the strangest gift you would expect to give a child. Mary and Joseph may have grasped the significance of the first two, but this one was sure to throw them. Myrrh is a perfuming agent used to cover up the stench of dead bodies. It’s a bit like someone coming to your baby shower with a tombstone and what’s worse it’s got your kids name on it – it’s just a little inappropriate. The thing is the gift of Myrrh has lots to tell us about Jesus. Gold told us that He was someone of huge significance and worth; frankincense told us that He came as our great High Priest to offer Himself as a sacrifice. Myrrh shows us that He came to achieve this by dying in our place.

The gospels remind us that He came to seek and save that which was lost. In fact just like Myrrh, his perfect sacrifice covers up our sinful stench. He replaces our arrogant odour with the most beautiful of fragrances – perfect obedience and perfect worship.

What’s most astonishing about this was God’s attitude in giving this gift. I stated at the beginning of this blog that the thing I love most about Christmas is being the one who gets to give presents to those I love. The bible tells us that Jesus endured the shame of the cross for the joy that was set before Him. A well known Hymn, when talking of Jesus, also tells us the following: “…on the cross my burden gladly bearing, he bled and died to take away my sin.” God was glad to give us this costly gift – no gritted teeth here – just pure and undiluted delight. 

As you’re opening your gifts this Christmas have a think about the gift that God gave you, and consider why.

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