What’s the best gift that you have ever received? Was it something you had been asking for? Was it something unexpected? Maybe it was something you didn’t even know you wanted until after you received it!
Centuries ago, people were waiting for a gift in the form of a person–a Messiah that had been prophesied to come. During Advent, we celebrate the arrival of the Messiah. We celebrate the ultimate gift that says to each and every one of us: “You matter!” You may be wondering why I’m mentioning Advent when we are celebrating Easter today. For me, to understand the cross is to understand the giving nature of our God. This takes me back to the birth of Christ which was motivated by God’s desire not to be separated from His children. The proclamation was made that “unto us a child is born, a son is given…”
We see the giving nature of God again when we consider what He gave up to rescue us from our sin. Scripture tells us that He so loved the world that He gave His only Son. In step with the will of His father’s giving spirit, Jesus took ever step toward the cross with purpose–for the joy set before Him. He gave His life so that we might live. The Lenten season is marked by giving up something–the act of fasting from those things that take our focus away from the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ. We are called upon to give up our will and to take hold of His will. His resurrection gives us hope for a future.
From the Christmas story to the Easter story, we see the awesome giving nature of our Heavenly Father. He has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He has come that we might know Him and the power of His resurrection. He has come that we might embrace the ultimate gift of knowing that we matter to Him so much so that He gave and continues to give.