The Greatest Gift


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The little girl ran up the steps to her small, simple home. It was cold outside, but she had been waiting for quite a long time in the woods. She was waiting for a little yellow vehicle. She almost fell asleep in the tree when she heard it. The sputtering was unmistakable. As the engine turned off, the girl jetted through the woods. Her black hair flew to catch up with her. Once inside, her gift awaited. Her father had pawned his rifle to buy her this gift. He came with a cake too. White frosting and glitter decorated the cake. What a great day. She tore the wrapping paper. It appeared to be just what she asked for. The shape was the same. The weight felt right. But what if it wasn’t what she asked for. She would be so disappointed. So she sat the gift down and refused to open it…. The end!

We would all be furious for this type of ending in a book, movie, magazine. However, this is not a fictional story. This is in fact, what people across the world do everyday. They have been handed a free gift by God,their Father. Instead of unwrapping the gift of eternal life and salvation, doubts creep in and many refuse it altogether. No matter that it cost our Savior His life. Jesus died on the cross and took our punishment. Instead of being thankful, many don’t want to be “forced” into a bunch of rules or made to feel guilty in any way. They back out as if Jesus’s death on the cross is a mere stock investment that they can back out of the minute they feel uncomfortable.

The cross is the greatest gift we have ever been given. Yet, the world looks at this cross as just another ornament littering the tree. Ann Voskamp says it well in her new book “The Greatest Gift”, In the middle of all our collective mess stands the most monstrous evil. The wood of the creche lies torn apart behind the wood of the cross. The cries of the innocent babe under the stars of Bethlehem twist into the agonized cries of the innocent Victim atop the injustice of Calvary. The holy dark over the manger gives way to the heinous dark over the messiah in the slamming hammer, in the tearing vein, in the piercing thorn -the created murdering the creator. The cross stands as the epitome of evil. And God takes the greatest evil ever known to humanity and turns it into the greatest gift you have ever known.”

The Lord said, Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!” Deut. 5:29 (NIV)

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