The John Lewis Christmas commercial shown below has a surprise ending. We are led through a traditional story line about a child who can’t wait for Christmas, but there’s a twist at the end. You may wish to watch the ad before continuing, lest my comments ruin the surprise.
As I watched the commercial, I was first reminded of these Scripture passages: It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:34), and God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).
There is something more than a cheerful giver illustrated in this ad, though. Indeed, the young boy is an urgent giver, one who cannot wait to give the gift he has to offer. The hours and days creep by. When will he finally be able to give his gift? Finally, the day arrives, finally!
This seemed strangely familiar to me, that it was speaking to a biblical theme. Then it hit me. Yes! This was Jesus on His final journey to Jerusalem, urgent and eager to give us the gift of our salvation, to snatch us from the kingdom of darkness and translate us to the kingdom of light. Scripture has this to say about this almost impatient desire in Him:
- As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).
- Jesus exclaimed, “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!(Luke 12:49)
- Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. … Now my soul is troubled, yet what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” … Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”(John 12:23, 27-28, 31-32).
Scripture says that as Jesus’ apostles followed Him up the road to Jerusalem for His final journey, they were “amazed and afraid” (cf Mk 10:32). Fearful of Jesus’ predictions of His own death, the disciples protested, But Rabbi … a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going there? (John 11:8) Finally, seeing Jesus’ determination, Thomas (likely in exasperation) said, Let us also go, that we may die with him (John 11:16).
Yes, Jesus set His face like flint as He journeyed toward Jerusalem, eager to give the gift of salvation. What distress, what impatience until He must have felt until He could give that gift! Resolutely, He went forth with fervor.
Think about these things as you watch this Christmas commercial.