Treasure in a Barn
Written by Pastor Jim Law
Some years ago a British farmer bought a large painting from a neighboring farmer for less than four dollars. He stored it temporarily in his barn. After collecting cobwebs for a number of years it was noticed by his tax consultant who wondered if it might be worth something. A photograph of the painting was taken and sent to Christie’s, a respected London auction firm. Surprisingly, he learned that the painting was the work of Thomas Daniell, a highly acclaimed 19th century artist. The critics had been aware of its existence but its whereabouts had been a mystery for over a century. The farmer sold that four-dollar painting at an auction for more than $90,000.
Imagine finding something that valuable in a barn? And yet, we find something of infinitely greater value in the Christmas story. Jesus Christ was born in a barn and placed in a manger. He is the most valuable gift ever given to humanity. As he lay in the manger almost no one recognized his worth.
His value is found in that He came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. Upon His birth, it was announced that Mary would bear a son and His name would be called “Jesus” (Savior), for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
Alfred Edersheim, Jewish historian and author wrote, “If Jesus Christ did not live, and He was not the Son of God and He is not the Messiah, then there never has been a Messiah and there never will be.” It has been said of the impact of Jesus Christ that “All armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affect the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.”
Maybe you are struggling to the see the value or the impact of Christ’s birth? Why is he so valuable and vital to one living in the 21st century? The answer is centered on what he did when he came. Through his life, death and resurrection, he has built the only bridge for a wayward, rebellious humanity to be reconciled with our Creator. (I Timothy 2:5)
In him, we come to know God. Jesus prayed in the final hours of his life, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) He gives to those who come by faith in him, forgiveness and rescue, peace and purpose, abundance and joy.
The most important gift you could ever receive this Christmas is not anything that may be placed under a tree, but rather what was given long ago and has never been received by many. In Jesus Christ, we find that the greatest gift in the universe—–eternal life, which carries promise of joy now, and forevermore. O come, let us adore Him.