But now, I invite you to stop and breathe as you read this. If stillness can’t be found now, save it for later for a time when a silent night finally descends and there’s not a creature stirring in your house.
Over the next few minutes let’s unwrap God’s most extravagant gift to you. Stick with me, I’m not about to shower you with Christmas clichés, but rather, I want to tell you about how God’s greatest gift is a reward for our sin.
I can hear you now: “No way!” “God hates sin, He’d never reward it.” “Justin, you must not know the character of God!” Let me prove it to you by sharing my favorite Christmas passage and unboxing the most extravagant gift He’s ever given.
In Romans 5, Paul compares the sin of Adam with the gift of Jesus.
15“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many. 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”
When Adam sinned it changed the way God related to humanity. God put Adam in the garden “to work it and take care of it”. The first recorded exchange between God and Adam was a command (Genesis 2:16). He was God’s servant. But it’s possible, through a generous reading of Genesis 2 and 3, that God and Adam were friends. But, whether they were friends or master-servant, Adam’s sin changed their relationship for the worse. They were now separated by sin (Romans 5:14).