Christmas is probably my favorite time of the year. The carols, the movies, Santa, the delicious food, the lights and decorations and of course celebrating the birth of Jesus. Aside from all these, there’s one thing that I absolutely love about Christmas:
Yes, I sound like a selfish child but at least I’m being honest with you.
Every year, I’d wake up extremely early (I mostly didn’t sleep at all), run to my sister’s room and wake her up. Then, I’d race to my parents’ bedroom, jump on their bed and tell them, “WAKE UP!” After that, I’d sprint down the stairs and sit impatiently by the tree, waiting for my family to stumble their way downstairs, too.
Once we all gathered together around the tree, each of us would take turns opening a present until everyone had ran out. This was complete torture. All I wanted to do was rip the wrapping paper off of my presents and behold the gifts I had been given.
Presents and Jesus
Wouldn’t it have been odd if say an eight or nine-year-old child opened their gifts on Christmas morning and, after seeing the present under the wrapping paper, started glorying in how amazing the wrapping paper looked? They’d take their wrapping paper to school, call their grandparents to tell them how awesome their wrapping paper was and even slept with it clenched within their arms. Wouldn’t that be weird?
The wrapping paper isn’t the best part of a gift; the present is.
Heaven isn’t what’s awesome; Jesus is.
Jesus is Better
Jesus didn’t die to give us Heaven; He died to give us Himself. It just so happens that Heaven is where Jesus dwells.
If the present wasn’t beneath the wrapping paper, it wouldn’t be a present. And if Jesus wasn’t in Heaven, it would be Hell.
Prior to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God had every right to withhold His very presence from us because of our corrupt hearts. Instead, He chose to make a way for us through Jesus by His sinless life, sin-atoning death and sin-conquering resurrection. When we trust in His finished work, our sin no longer separates us from God but allows us to be with Him and His people forever in Heaven.
Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory.
Romans 5:1 & 2, CEB
Heaven is only awesome because Jesus is there. It is the wrapping paper that holds the present that is Jesus. Yes, the wrapping paper may be pretty but the gift is so much better.