Beautifully wrapped presents under the Christmas tree are part of every Christmas memory I have. While the lights on the tree dance off the bulbs, the gifts frame the bottom of the tree with an iridescent glow. Christmas gifts are an important part of celebrating Christmas.
I like to see the varieties of creative Christmas wrapping paper perfectly hiding the gift inside. As a matter of fact, I like it so much I try to remove it without damaging the paper. Do you know the kind of person who says, “Save the paper! We can use it again next year!” That's me.
But I don’t wrap presents—if I can help it.
Dave Berry commented on the fact that there is no mention of wrapping paper on the gifts given to Jesus by the wise men. He said there were two reasons for this; first, they were wise, and second, they were men.
Right, I love the way they look but don’t ask me to wrap a Christmas present.
Once, after buying several Christmas presents at a mall, I decided to take advantage of a department store’s free gift-wrapping kiosk. The only problem was no one was there. I waited for the little elf who had this job to return from their break, but when it looked like they had abandoned their post I took matters into my own hands.
I had good intentions. I felt unusually creative.
My wife watched while biting her lip to keep from laughing. When I finished, you could tell I wrapped them. They were custom wrapped with my signature creases and securely covered with an entire roll of clear tape. Not a pretty sight.
While I sweated over "wrapping" the gifts, a crowd had gathered. They somehow confused me with someone who knew how to wrap gifts.
I confessed my lack of skill, but they were not deterred. They decided a poorly wrapped gift was better than having to wrap a gift themselves. After seeing my work, they changed their minds.
Some people just have a gift for gift-wrapping, but none are better than God.
Did you know the Greatest Gift ever given was wrapped by God?
That’s right. Let me explain.
God has graciously given countless gifts to man. We know that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (Jas. 1:17).
In this limited space, I can’t begin to list all the good things God has given us, but here are a few:
Opportunity to know Him
Our minds and bodies
Spiritual gifts for His children
And even faith is a gift!
The list is endless!
Of all the wonderful gifts He has given us, which would be the best?
The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Ro. 6:23b).
The Lord Jesus Christ, is the greatest gift!
For God so loved the world, that He gave His One and Only Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Every other gift God has given us pales in comparison to the gift of His Son.
The gift of life – What good is a life separated from God that soon ends and results in eternal separation from God?
The gift of health – Health is a precious gift, but it eventually fails, and we are all destined to die and face judgment.
The gift of wealth – No amount of wealth can satisfy our souls, and neither will we be able to take it to the next life.
This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9-10).
The Lord Jesus boldly claimed,
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
God’s greatest gift is His Son—the Lord Jesus Christ!
We place our gifts under the tree. God placed His gift on a tree.
After putting this message on our church sign one year, someone left a voice mail telling me that I was wrong. They insisted evil men crucified Jesus.
They were right, but only half-right. As Adrian Rogers has said, “When you take a half-truth and make it a whole truth, you make it a lie.”
Yes, sinful men crucified Christ (Acts 5:30), but not without the Father’s permission.
This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross (Acts 2:23).
What a gift—the gift of God—the Son of God!
So, how did God wrap the Greatest Gift?
Mary wrapped Jesus snugly in strips of cloth. Other than His seamless undergarment, the clothes taken from Jesus at His crucifixion were not unique (Jn. 19:23). But how did God wrap His Greatest Gift?
The Christmas carol, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!” gives us a hint:
Christ, by highest heav’n adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord: Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail th’ incarnate Deity! Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel. –Charles Wesley
Did you see it?
“Veiled in flesh”!
The Father wrapped His Son in flesh.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Why did God choose human flesh to wrap His eternal Son? And if He had to wrap Him, why not wrap Him with a rainbow, or lightning, or any other astounding things?
To begin with, no one could bear to look at Christ in all His glory.
Second, by being wrapped in a human body, God was communicating in a “language” we could understand. By living in a human body, He showed us how to live (1 Peter 2:21) and by dying in a sinless body, He destroyed the power of the Devil and satisfied the justice of God (Hebrews 2:14-17).
Instead of being wrapped like some celestial being, the flesh in which the Son of God was wrapped “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him” (Isaiah 53:2). Jesus looked like everyone else!
Many of the people who saw Jesus on earth made the same mistake we do, judging others by their appearance.
Just as what is inside the gift wrap is far more important than the wrapping, what is inside a person is what really matters.
The Son of God did not come to earth to seek our approval. He was not born to impress. He came to reveal God to us and pay for our sin on the cross.
Jesus is now seated at the Father’s right hand and wrapped in inexpressible glory. While on earth, His glory was hidden from those who focused on externals. But those who received Him gained the right to become children of God (John 1:10-12).
Today, God still reveals Himself to mankind by His Spirit, through His word (the Bible), and through those who have received Him.
We need not try to “wrap” Jesus in slick marketing, fancy clothes, or religious symbols.
When God lives within us, we should be wrapped in the Spirit’s fruit (Gal. 5:22-23) and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24).
The greatest gift ever given was when God wrapped His Son and gave Him to us. The greatest gift we could ever share with others this Christmas is the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Surrender to Him and let God wrap you in His love, fill you with His Spirit, and use you to share His gift with others.
Amazed by grace,
 Dave Barry. “How to Beat the Wrap.” Miami Herald, December 17, 2012, https://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article1930797.html