Each year on Good Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the Christmas shopping season officially begins. Stores across the nation open early and entice shoppers by offering incredible deals on their merchandise. It is not uncommon to see shoppers lined up outside early to be first in the stores as there is often a limited supply. If you want the best deal, you must get there early and even be willing to push and shove a little to get your perfect gift. If you wait around, then you might miss out.
In his letter to Rome’s church, the apostle Paul did not want his readers to miss out on the best gift. This gift would not be found on a shelf on an aisle but could be attained by only receiving it from the one who gave it. In Jesus, God offered to the entire world the free gift of salvation. With human sin running rampant in the world, Jesus came to offer humanity a change of direction. The path of sin leading to death could be reversed. Death no longer had to be a done deal, but now life was being offered as a gift of God’s grace. In Romans 5: 15-17, we read:
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
For Paul, there is not a limited supply of God’s grace. Instead, God’s grace is sufficient to forgive us of all our sins. In Jesus, we no longer stand under condemnation but are now justified, made right before God. Through an abundance of grace, the free gift of Jesus Christ brings life to all. In Jesus, we are no longer defined by sin and death but by grace and life. This truth changes everything and offers hope to all humankind.
Yet, like any gift, it must be received. God will not force His gift upon us. Instead, God offers it to us out of God’s great love. God then leaves it up to us that we will do next. It is God’s best deal because it comes from the heart of God. This is good news for all of us, and the offer is available every day, not just on Black Friday.