Jesus Is The Gift
Come, let’s leave behind our frenzied to-do lists for a moment and take a deep breath. Let’s push past the rushing roadways of check-out lines, late night scotch tape battles and tangled twinkle-light meltdowns to find a quiet place. Let’s step lightly onto an unmarked holy field of snow-white wonder where grace was born. Let’s kneel down and gaze into the face of the very first Grace-Gift of Christmas.
As I woke up this morning I felt stirred by quiet footsteps to leave behind my urgencies, to venture off the beaten path, to let time stand still and rest in a few moments of eternal reflection. Imagine yourself with me (if you will) stepping away from the crowds of to-do’s and out into a moonlit woods, blanketed by twirling stars above and whispering pines around. Come, we will tiptoe over to the simple wooden manger, bend down and take a peek into the face of our miracle.
A King born to save.
The Son of Heaven, offering Himself,
To a world so busy and loud and confused we almost miss Him.
But not today.
Today we see…
Our walk through the Bible with the Life Journal readings has brought us to one of the most incredible passages of scripture. Romans 5 & 6. The words in these passages lead us to see the Gift of Jesus like we have never seen Him before.
Come take a look.
The footsteps that led us here are these words:
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
Sshh… Just stand there for a minute. In that spot. Can you sense it? We are standing in God’s grace. Take a deep breath and let that simply take your breath away.
We find ourselves here because of the Gift Himself. He has changed our course. He has called us off the highway, onto the Holy Way.
It was by this Gift that somewhere along the way we left the busy streets of walking by sight, and stumbled onto the hidden paths of walking by faith.
We’re being nudged now to go a little deeper into these woods of wonder.
Up ahead there is something we need to see…
“But the gift is not like the trespass.” Romans 5:15a
And, here we rest. This is a truth that changes everything. These simple words mean more than we see at first glance. Come, lean into this with me. There’s a great treasure to uncover in this place.
“For if many died by the trespass of the one man [Adam], how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” Romans 5:15b
On these very words,”how much more”, the riches of heaven rest. But to grasp them till take a bit of simple math. In the original Greek, Paul is using the language of accounting.
Those words, “how much more”, explain that the gift of Christ supersedes the bankruptcy of Adam. The gift of Christ does so much more than just wipe away the deficit in our account due to sin.
Adam sinned and our account was emptied. We fell into debt.
But then something greater happened. Christ gifted Himself to us. Wait, let’s say that in a different way. Christ deposited HIMSELF into our account. He did not just cancel our debt and fill our spiritual bank account back up to where we were before Adam emptied it, He GIFTED us with the full measure of HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS! He deposited His own righteousness into our accounts!
“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17
A Bible College professor of mine said it’s like this: In Adam, we lost $500. But in Christ, we gain 50 million!
He not only cancels our debt, He credits our account with the fullness of not what was lost… but with Himself!!
We don’t have our own righteousness or Adam’s righteousness, or even the spotless but untested righteousness man was first created with. We have the very righteousness of Christ! Surely that transfers us from being a regular debit-card holder to being a Platinum card holder in the spiritual accounts of life!
We literally changed categories.
Through the disobedience of one man we lost everything we ever had. Through the obedience of one Man we gained everything we never had.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace my increase? By no means! We died to sin: how can we live in it any longer?” Romans 6:1.
Sin is a power that wants to slay people. It pushes and prods and pulls and presses. It is eager. But there is an even bigger power at work in us now. The power of God’s grace is deeper, wider, stronger, bigger.
You and I are millionaires in the Kingdom. But maybe mostly we still live like we are just getting by. We have the fullness of the riches of Heaven in Christ Jesus. But we don’t live like we do.
Christmas is an expression of God’s exploding grace. Jesus Christ was radically obedient to God when He clothed Himself with humanity and came to earth to redeem what we lost. The grace that collided with our human lives because of His obedience is beyond our understanding.
The only way we can dip into the riches set aside for you and me is to walk by faith in an obedience that knows no limits. Obedience without limits unlocks grace without limits. That is the key.
That is how we access the riches of our own accounts in heavenly places. The pin number to our account is radical obedience to God. When we listen carefully for God’s leading and resolutely obey like Christ, all the resources of heaven will follow. All. The. Resources. Of Heaven. They are ours in Christ Jesus. 50 million bucks! They belong to radical Christ-followers.
May Father God lead you in paths of obedience that confound the enemy and confirm the riches of His grace. In Jesus Name, Amen.