Did you know Christmas is all about the great Cosmic Battle?
And you say, now wait a minute, I don’t remember reading about a battle in the Christmas story. Well, I don’t mean to offend you. But if your view of Christmas doesn’t go beyond the sentimental stuff: you know, baby Jesus, meek and mild, Christmas trees, lights, presents, eggnog, and The Nutcracker Suite, you are sadly mistaken about Christmas.
You have no idea how much the real Christmas story contradicts this sentimental stuff. For you see, there’s a dark, warring side to Christmas. We begin to catch a glimpse of it when Matthew tells us of an angel who appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Get up. Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” (Matt. 2:13)
Matthew goes on to tell us that Herod:
“…gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years and under.” (Matt. 2:16)
What’s up with Herod anyway? Why this murderous slaughter of the innocents? There’s some deep, mysterious evil at play here. This episode of post-Christmas infanticide is the first public signal that a great cosmic battle has now been joined.
For Christmas is actually the opening move in a galactic battle between God and the devil. And this Jesus who enters the world, born of a virgin, we soon discover, is God’s special agent, God’s protagonist in this great cosmic battle.
The Bible tells us that motivated by his great love for you and me, Jesus, God’s Son, left heaven and came to earth as God’s warrior prince. And his mission was none other than to destroy the enemy of our souls.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity (that’s Christmas), so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is the devil. (Heb. 2:14)
You see, if you really understand Christmas, then you know the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem is God’s big move in a great cosmic battle against the devil, a battle which will end 33 years later with the death and resurrection of Prince Jesus for you and me.
But you say, “Come on, Gord. This is the 21st century. Thinking people don’t believe in the devil.” Well, I’m afraid you would lose that debate with Jesus.
And if you don’t believe in the devil, then you will never understand the essential reason for Christmas. You’ll never be able to answer the question, “What’s the big deal about Christmas?” The Apostle John knew the answer to that question, for he said,
The reason the Son of God appeared (that’s Christmas) was to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John. 3:8)
The reason the baby Jesus, the Son of God, was incarnated at Bethlehem was so he could nullify the satanic horrors of evil, the malignancy of human sin, and the fear of death. The Bible contains many accounts of the skirmishes Jesus had with the devil during his three years of ministry. Luke said it this way,
“Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil.” (Acts 10:38)
Rest assured, the Christmas Day parade, and the advertising gurus, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and the myriad of other cultural trappings around Christmas, they don’t talk about this headline cosmic battle that is at the heart of Christmas.
The Christmas event is really a great spiritual invasion from heaven. A spiritual D-Day. Here in the western world much of modern humanity is oblivious to such spiritual realities. They think spiritual means getting in touch with our inner self, becoming one with the cosmos, watching Oprah and Dr. Phil, and reading books like Eat, Pray, Love
But real spirituality is what Christmas is all about. It’s about God demonstrating his love for us by sending his glorious Son, Jesus Christ. It’s about the liberating Prince from heaven invading earth and setting up his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy.
This is why we sing,
Joy to the world, the Lord has come…Let heaven and earth rejoice!
Blessings for a joyous Christmas,