When we were growing up, my brother would wrap all the Christmas gifts. He took a painstaking effort to make each one special. Before we ripped right into the gift he would say, “Stop, notice the wrapping!” We stopped in mid-air and looked adoringly at the box and would say, “ahhhhh.” Since then, I’ve always tried to take time to notice how a gift is wrapped. The wrapping really is important. It sets the stage for the gift to come. I’ve seen some beautifully wrapped gifts on Instagram this December and I am not optimistic mine will measure up.
We talk about it all the time — wrapped up … wrap it up. Imagine hearing the following sentences in the appropriate accent:
“Marlene, I think she is just way too wrapped up in her business.”
“It’s freezing outside be sure and wrap up tight.”
“Honey, wrap up that chicken so we can have it for lunch tomorrow.”
“It’s a wrap, folks. Let’s get out of here.”
“What is it wrapped in?”
‘Awww … that looks sprained… you’re gonna need to wrap that ankle.”
“Mama, do we have enough Reynolds wrap?”
“It’s a little chilly. I better take a wrap.”
“We wrapped my friends’ house good — 50 rolls of TP!”
“I’ll have the avocado turkey wrap with a bag of chips and a coke.”
“I’m not ready for Christmas. I haven’t even wrapped up my gifts yet.”
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger…” (Luke 2:7)
The swaddling clothes were simply strips of cloth. Along with the Wiseman’s gift of myrrh, to me, this is a clear foreshadowing of the sacrifice Jesus would, ultimately, make. Fulfilling prophesy, Jesus was born to die. He was wrapped in humility, being fully God and fully man. He walked this earth as a perfect man — the second Adam, our great mystery, our blessed hope.
Mary lovingly wrapped her son in swaddling clothes. But after dying on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took charge of Jesus’ body and lovingly wrapped him in burial clothes. The good news of the gospel is that those burial clothes couldn’t hold him. On the third day he shook that wrap loose! He wasn’t dead any longer. He was alive! He had risen just as he promised so that he could save us from our sin. He has qualified us to share in the inheritance. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into His eternal kingdom. And He wraps us in robes of righteousness and calls us forgiven!
One day, when we know not the hour, He is coming back to wrap this whole thing up –this world — this life. This will be the once-and-for-all final wrap up, as he wraps Satan up and throws him into the lake of fire. He won’t come the second time as a lowly man, but He will come from heaven as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, riding a white horse wrapped in robes of splendor and majesty! Then he wraps us in a brand new glorified, resurrected, perfect body to spend eternity with Him. We will rule and reign in the Kingdom of God, as joint heirs, sons and daughters of the King!
….No need to ever buy a gift and wrap it up again, when he comes for us … because He is the greatest gift ever given! The Father gave the greatest gift when He sent Jesus from heaven, born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and ‘wrapped in’ a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
they will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
Well, that about wraps it up friends!