I’m going to take a bold leap and guess that in general, the world focuses more on being good during this time of the year than any other. First of all, parents get to bribe their kids by threatening them with the idea that Santa will only give gifts to good little boys and girls that obey their parents and keep their rooms clean. Also, there are endless commercials that will explain that you or someone you know deserves XYZ because you or that person has been good this year. These ideas of being good and being deserving imply that the person receiving a gift has been thoroughly analyzed and because the good outweighed the bad, they get to receive their prize wrapped in beautiful, shiny, Christmas paper. However, other than Santa, I don’t know anyone who does this kind of analysis on the people they buy for. What parent buys gifts for three out of four of their children? Who buys gifts for the poor only after demanding a moral background check on the person on the receiving end? Most importantly, what person can claim that their good thoughts, feelings, motivations and actions truly outweigh their bad thoughts, feelings, motivations and actions? God says no one can…
For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. Ecclesiastes 7:20
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;” Romans 3:10
That being said, if Santa was real, he would have the most useless job on the planet! Not one of us is deserving of anything good.
Let’s go back to the basics for a second. The opposite of good is bad and what the Bible considers bad is sin. Sin can be easily understood as anything you think, say or do that breaks God’s law – or breaks God’s heart, (as we explain to children.) That being understood and contemplated, Romans 3:23 should not come as a surprise to anyone which states that all have sinned. Finally, Romans 6:23 begins with, “For the wages of sin is death…” During this time of year we really get the message mixed up. In truth, humanity individually and as a whole is not good and is not deserving of gifts and rewards. What we deserve is death. Many want to believe that death is just a permanent loss of consciousness. However, the Bible tells us that in death, there is complete consciousness and it is filled with pain and regret.
Fortunately, there is a second half of Romans 6:23. The entire verse goes like this
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Make note that the verse above does not list requirements that must be fulfilled to receive the gift of eternal life from God. You see, God is so much better than Santa. He freely offers us the gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ knowing we could never earn it. One more verse to drive home my point:
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
This verse refers to Jesus Christ who has paid the wages for our sins. He fulfilled Romans 6:23 by His own death and by His resurrection the gift is offered to all of us.
Christmas is not really about giving, it is about receiving. On the first Christmas, 2,000 years ago, humanity received the best gift it never deserved: God knew we were destined for death because of our own sin but He loved us still. Therefore, He sent His beloved and perfect Son to earth to be born of a virgin and live for the sole purpose of dying for us. Through the death of Jesus Christ, we have been given the gift of eternal life if we will receive it. His death was for everyone but not everyone will accept their gift. If someone buys you a big screen tv and you refuse to take it, you cannot enjoy it. Likewise, if you continue to refuse Jesus Christ as your Savior, you cannot enjoy the gift of eternal life.