Before too long, many families will be gathered together and opening their Bibles and reading the Christmas story. We will hear of the dream of Joseph in response to Mary’s pregnancy in Matthew 1 and how the child will be called Immanuel. We will hear about the announcement to Mary in Luke 1. We will hear about the magi in Matthew 2 and the shepherds in Luke 2.
I wonder how many people will read the other Christmas story found in Revelation 12.
Yeah! That’s a Christmas account! It’s a bit abbreviated, but it’s an illustration of what was going on. The child is being born and Satan is already there trying to destroy him to prevent the plan of salvation from taking place. Fortunately, the child is protected and snatched up to Heaven. (John goes from birth to ascension.)
We see so much of the good side of what happened, but we need to realize that cosmic warfare was taking place. If this was a chess game, then this is the point where God is preparing to make a checkmate move. We can be sure that Satan knew it was coming and was ready to respond.
So what happens in the story? We see that Herod orders all the children in Bethlehem under two years old to be slain. Joseph and Mary have to flee in order to keep Jesus alive. By the way, if you wonder why no one else records this, this is sadly mild for Herod. He was prone to murdering rampages and the town was a small town, there would probably be a dozen or so children murdered. In the time of Herod, it was hardly breaking news.
Why’d Herod do it? He feared a new king coming and taking his place. Thus, while we look and see Christmas as a wonderful time of year, and don’t get me wrong for what happened was wonderful, it was hardly a pleasant memory for many of the people involved. The people of Bethlehem would probably not look back with fondness.
This needs to be remembered though. Christmas is a fun holiday, but it is also a serious holiday. It is the time that we remember that God did enter this world. The heavenly did come and intersect with the earthly. God made himself known in a way that he had never done before.
That doesn’t happen peacefully. In fact, when we are servants of God today, we can expect to have clashes as well. What happened at the start was the beginning of the end. If this move worked, which God knew it would as I am no open theist, then it would spell the end for Satan and his plans.
Indeed, it was the end. The dragon was cast down and he went to make war on those who obey God’s commandments, which would be us. Today, we can expect that. If there were no Christmas, there would be no Christians. We would not be in the war most likely. We are doing what we do though because of what God did 2,000 years ago.
This Christmas, enjoy the celebration, but remember that this is cosmic warfare also. It’s also going on around you right now. (It could help us to recover a biblical idea of angels) Celebrate, but remember what all happened. It wasn’t just fun and games.