The Best Gift Exchange

timex web site – Christmas sale 12/20/2019

Gift giving can be complicated. I suppose we all have our own “rules for giving”. For example, when Kelly and I married, we ended up with several duplicate gifts. Was it wrong to regift an iron now and then?

Once after delivering a casserole to a friend in need, I received the dish back with another casserole in it. For that person it was “wrong” to return it empty. That seemed to remove the gift of my gift.

Complicated perhaps, but gift giving can be memorable. A friend of mine gave his wife a vacuum cleaner to celebrate their wedding anniversary. I don’t know how well it went over that year, but they laugh about it now. Thankfully they have stayed happily married for many years.

My most memorable gift exchange is probably one that happened years ago in our family. Knowing that my dad would really like the new Timex watch that year, I decided to get it for Christmas.

Boy was I surprised when I opened a package and found the same watch. As I remember it, my brother, father and I gave each other the same gift that year.

That family exchange comes to my mind as I read Hebrews chapter 10. The point being made is that it was never possible for the sacrifices prescribed in the Old Testament to remove sin, they were a foreshadowing of what Jesus would one day come and do.

“Therefore” in verse 5 helps us understand why Jesus came. Since it was not possible for the blood of goats and bulls to take away sins … Jesus came. And he came to do something different. Rather than being a better officiator of sacrifices, he would himself be the sacrifice.

“A body you have prepared for me” … “I have come to do your will, O God” … He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

selections from Hebrews 10:5-10

There’s the point of flash-back for me. The Father and the Son gave each other the same gift. The Father prepared a body for Jesus and Jesus gave that body to the Father.

You can read all about that in Luke chapter 1 where we find the explanation given to Mary about how she will become pregnant with Jesus.

Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have no sexual relationship with a man?” And the angel answered, saying to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you: therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:34-35 (Mounce NT Translation)

And Jesus gave that body to the Father, “I have come to do your will.” John tells us about the finish of this giving Jesus did when he describes the last moments on the cross.

After this Jesus, knowing that all was now accomplished, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was there, so they attached a sponge soaked in the sour wine to a stalk of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When he had taken the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is accomplished!” And he bowed his head and handed over his spirit.

John 19:28-30 (Mounce NT Translation)

That moment in my family is very special to me. Even more because it reminds me of the greatest gift exchange ever.

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