Looking Beyond the Cover

I once read a story that Bill Driver wrote in the Bulletin Digest in 2001. It is the story of a junior in high school called Christine. Her parents had moved earlier that year to make a better life for the family. It worked. They were much better off finically this year than they were in years past. In fact, Christine noted that she had far more presents under the tree than she ever had before. But one box caught her attention. Christine eyed the box suspiciously. "Surely that plain-looking box couldn't have anything inside of it that I would want," she thought. It was just a fairly flat box that was about the size of notebook paper and was wrapped with plain brown paper and taped very crudely. Next to the other presents under the Christmas tree, with their colorful paper and bright ribbons, the brown paper-wrapped box was quite ugly.

It had come from a girl at Christine's former high school, where she had attended for two years before her parents had moved her two states away. "I didn't even know her that well," thought Christine, "even though I guess she did try to get to know me.”

Now it was Christmas Eve. Christine and her family were gathered around the tree, opening their presents. Every present was opened except the plain one for Christine. With her parents watching with anticipation, Christine picked up the small box and slowly unwrapped the package. When she was finished unwrapping it, and she saw what was inside, a tear formed in the corner of her eye, and a lump came into her throat. "Look, Mom and Dad, it's last year's yearbook - the one you said we didn't have the money to buy!" she exclaimed.

Then Christine opened the yearbook, and found note after note from friends telling her how much they loved and missed her. Christine's tears flowed freely and without shame when she realized that she had been given a gift more precious than a cell phone, music CDs, and other presents that had been wrapped so nicely.

Of Christ it is written: "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him! Nothing in his appearance that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53:2 NIV). In other words, Jesus was quite ordinary looking. You would not be able to pick Him out of a crowd and say, “Look the Son of God … The Savior of the world" based on the way He looked.

His body was quite ordinary, maybe even homely, but what a treasure was inside the Man, for Jesus Christ is God, Himself, Who dwelt among us; the sacrificial Lamb of God, who came to take away the sin of the world, the resurrection and the life, and so much more. What a treasure is found in the salvation that only Christ can give! Remember that the next time you judge something or someone based only on appearance. - Pastor Danny

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