The Best Christmas Gift Ever

This morning I’m reflecting on Isaiah 49 and 50, where the Holy Spirit is showing the contrast between the unresponsiveness of God’s people, and the complete and perfect responsiveness of the Servant Son, Jesus. It’s a wonderful meditation for the Christmas season, and my heart is moved with thankfulness for God’s indescribable gift of love – that He Himself would become the obedient Son, and then include me (and us!) in His amazing mercy and grace.

In the first several verses of this chapter, God simply states the fact that the distance between Himself and His people is not due to His rejection, but to their lack of response to His initiatives. It is a simple thing to see myself in this passage – preoccupation with life, worries about a variety of things, and – too often – just plain avoidance of God’s invitations to draw near.

But then, in verse 4 and following, there is the testimony of the Servant Son, whose availability and response to the Sovereign Lord is perfect. Where I do not heed the Lord’s call (v.2), the Servant Son is ever a listener (v.4). Where I am unconvinced about the Lord’s love (49:14) and power (49:22), the Servant Son is confident in the Lord’s help (50:7,9) and nearness (50:8). Where I suffer because of sin and rebellion (50:1ff), the Servant Son suffers because He is obedient (50:5ff). The enemy has a right to accuse me because of offenses (50:1ff), but the Servant Son knows that no charge can be sustained against Him (50:8-9). Where I have failed, He has not. Ever.

The reality that turns this passage from bad news to good news is that the Heavenly Father, because of His great love for me and for you, sent this obedient, responsive Servant Son into the world to live the perfect human life, to suffer and die in my place as a substitute for me, and to welcome me into the Father’s family by the power of His resurrection life. 

Because of His great love, I am not forgotten, rejected, or left out. Neither are you. All He asks is for me to love Him and respond to Him in thanksgiving and trust. This is the first and best Christmas gift. Ever.

Gary Wiens

Gary Wiens, 12/5/2017