Anticipating the Gift


I’ve was always the kid who couldn’t wait for Christmas morning. My children aren’t that bad, they get up a hair early, but I wasn’t like that growing up. I was the kid that stayed awake on Christmas eve as long as they could, and would then wake up every hour on the hour starting around 2:30 or 3:00am. Once I interrupted a very frustrated Santa while he was in the middle of assembling a bicycle for my sister. I offered my assistance and was sharply told to go back to bed. However, after much waiting, eventually there would be presents under the tree. As a child, I just couldn’t wait to see what was under the tree on Christmas morning. Now, as an adult, I don’t want to see the bank statement on Christmas morning. Ignorance is bliss.

I.A. Christmas Was God’s Idea From The Start

One thing that I will note, is that as children, we rarely understand the amount of preparation and planning that goes into pulling off Christmas morning. Now, my wife handles 99.9% of the Christmas logistics in my home, but she plans and purchases for months before. The Old Testament is full of prophecies which tell of God’s plan to redeem the sinful state of mankind. Actually, we don’t have to look very far from the fall to see God’s plan of redemption. Within the very same chapter, Genesis chapter 3, we see in verse 15 that God planned to send someone to deal with the sinfulness of man.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

This verse has been called the “protevanglium” or ‘first-good news.’ We could spend all of our time here in this verse and in this chapter, but I want you to notice 2 things here:

  1. The Gospel is God’s plan. – “I will”
  2. The Gospel is God’s grace. – God made garments for them from animal fur.

I.B. Christmas Was Perfectly Planned

We don’t have time to look at all the prophecies in the Old Testament that pertain to the birth of Jesus, but from them we can see:

  1. Major world events that take place in and around the birth of Christ. (Isaiah 60.3-6 – Magi; Jeremiah 31.15 – Herod kills children)
  2. The location of Jesus’ birth. (Micah 5.2)
  3. The family lineage of Jesus. (Numbers 24; Isaiah 11)
  4. The character of Jesus. (For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. – Isaiah 9.6-7)
  5. That he would be born of a virgin. (Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and you will call him Immanuel.” The name Immanuel means “God with us” and indicates the divinity of Jesus. – Isaiah 7.14)
  6. The purpose of Jesus.

II. Jesus Is The Best Gift

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! – Matthew 7.7-11

When I was 14 years old, just after Thanksgiving, after my sister had gone to bed, my parents sat me down and gave me the talk. You know the talk that every child hates to have with their parents. They said, now that you’re 14, you’re too old for Santa Claus. He doesn’t bring gifts to kids who are 14 or older, only 13 and below. I sat their skeptical. Because, after all, Santa had been faithful to show up the last 13 years. Surely they were pulling my leg. About two weeks before Christmas I received the same talk again, and I began to think, maybe they’re being serious. I knew that kids always received presents mysteriously on Christmas morning, but the parents did not, Maybe 14 was the cut-off age. I didn’t know.

In classic Michael form I arose from my slumber around 1 or 2 in the morning, There was nothing. Just an empty living room. Obviously Santa hadn’t come yet. I repeated the process around 3. Still nothing. 4. Still nothing. Around 5:30am I woke again to find that a plethora of presents in the living room. Finally, the big guy had made it. As I investigated in the dimly lit room, I soon  discovered that these were all girl toys! Maybe my parents weren’t pulling my leg after all. Then, clinging to hope, I decided that I surely must’ve interrupted the present delivery and returned to my room, this time now fully awake. Around 6 I snuck into the living room, to find nothing. I glanced at my stocking, Maybe just a small gift would be in there, I stuck my hand in…nothing. Devastated and heart broken, I returned to bed.

At 6:30 I got back out of bed refusing to believe Santa could be so cruel. The living room remained full of girl toys. With one last effort of stuck my hand into the very bottom of my stocking and my index finger grazed an object. I knew my parents couldn’t be telling the truth! My hand grasped the object and I pulled it out of the stocking. This one object, this one gift changed everything for me. A gift which surpassed all other gifts I had ever received.

God has given us such a gift in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3.16