May your Christmas be blessed
with the most precious gift of all!
The wrapping didn’t sparkle or depict beautiful wintery scenes. No, this gift came wrapped in strips of woven cloth. The few who knew of the gift wondered at its worth without fully discovering its beauty. It was a gift not for one but for all who would receive it.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David
a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you:
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manger.”
A small number kept the gift close to their heart as each year peeled away the wrapping strip by strip to reveal the treasure beneath.
“In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field,
the which when a man hath found, he hideth,
and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath,
and buyeth that field.”
By the time the last piece of cloth was ripped away others looking on had lost their wonder. This was not the treasure they thought it to be. In their haste the people angrily stripped the last shred of wrapping from their gift. This was no treasure, no pearl but a worthless rock.
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
“But when the Pharisees heard it, they said,
This fellow doth not cast out devils,
but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.”
They dashed their disappointment against a wall breaking it into pieces.
“Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
But they cried, saying,
Crucify him, crucify him …
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary,
there they crucified him …”
the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;
and the earth did quake,
and the rocks rent;”
Matthew 27: 51
The few who loved the gift wrapped the pieces in a linen cloth and buried it. They held its memory beneath their broken hearts until the day one passed by the buried pieces.
The earth could not hold the pieces.
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake;
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it…
And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye:
for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
The broken pieces had become a great immoveable unbreakable stone, a living stone. King Nebuchadnezzar saw this stone in a dream. Daniel interpreted the dream’s meaning in Daniel chapter 2. The stone the king saw was –
- “cut out without hands,
- which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay,
- and brake them to pieces.
- Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together,
- and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors:
- and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them:
- and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain,
- and filled the whole earth…
- And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom,
- which shall never be destroyed…
- the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter;
- and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
This stone is a living stone.
“The stone which the builders refused
is become the head stone of the corner.
This is the LORD’S doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.”
“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men,
but chosen of God, and precious.”
Those who loved the gift understood how precious it was and found in their brokenness, it to be their hope and strength.
“Ye also, as lively stones,
are built up a spiritual house,
an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ…
unto you therefore which believe he is precious:”
1 Peter 2:5,7a
Those who do not find this stone precious will be crushed to powder by its strength.
“And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken;
but on whomsoever it shall fall,
it will be ground to powder.”
Jesus tells us in his parable –
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them
I will liken him unto a wise man,
which built his house upon a rock:”
That rock is Jesus who was also the Rock the Israelites drank from.
“for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them:
and that Rock was Christ.”
1 Corinthians 10:4
By the way, the foolish man in Christ’s parable built his house on sand –
“and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
The gift has been opened for all to receive. The wise will find him precious for in him they will find life. The foolish reject him and reject the life He offers. What will you do with gift the Father has given?