An inexpressible gift

I heard a story about a mother and son sitting in church listening to the preacher talk about the crucifixion of Jesus. As the preacher described the Lord’s incredible sacrifice, the mother noticed that her son was crying.

Turning to him she whispered, “Oh, quit your crying. You’ve heard all this before.”

That’s fictitious, I hope, but it reflects a real struggle for those of us who’ve been Christians for a long time.

Does the story of Jesus lose its emotional appeal?

Does it become just something we’ve heard before?

It can happen.

In our emphasis on gratitude this week, let’s spend time today focused just on Jesus—nothing else.

Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

He was probably referring back to this verse: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

The most precious gift we’ve ever been given is Jesus. Consistent with God’s will, he gave up heaven’s glory, “emptied himself,” became a servant, and died a horrible death.

He took on himself the curse of God, became a sin offering, embraced death, felt the wrath of a holy God.

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?, he cried, expressing some kind of agony I’m not sure we understand.

And he did it for us.

Why? Because we did something to deserve his favor?

Not in any way.

He did it because of love.

It sounds cliché, but he loves us more than we know.

Oh, I know you’ve heard this story a thousand times, as I have.

You’ve heard the sermons, read the gospels, taken the bread and wine to remember.

You know what he did, and you know it well.

But in an attempt to keep it from being merely a story you’ve heard before, focus on it again today.

Thank him for dying on the cross for you.

Thank him for taking on himself God’s curse, for becoming sin . . . for you.

It’s a story you know, but don’t let it become just something you’ve heard before.

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