Thursday, 29 December 2016
How Did a Dragon Get Into the Christmas Story?
Imagine my surprise when I went to Londonderry Mall in 2015 and saw a great red dragon among the Christmas decorations. Its reptilian presence dominated The Log Barn kiosk located at the intersection of four hallways.
The Holy Spirit arranged one of those amazing coincidences at the time by letting me hear John MacArthur's sermon on Revelation 12:1-6. Here's what the verses say in the Bible in Basic English:
1 And a great sign was seen in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
2 And she was with child; and she gave a cry, in the pains of childbirth.
3 And there was seen another sign in heaven; a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven crowns.
4 And his tail was pulling a third part of the stars of heaven down to the earth, and the dragon took his place before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when the birth had taken place he might put an end to her child.
5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who was to have rule over all the nations with a rod of iron: and her child was taken up to God and to his high seat.
6 And the woman went in flight to the waste land, where she has a place made ready by God, so that there they may give her food a thousand, two hundred and sixty days.
In metaphorical language, John told the story of how Herod sought to kill Christ and had all the children under two years in Bethlehem killed, hoping Jesus was among them.
This was the first of several attempts which Satan made on Christ's life. Only when it was time for Jesus to be crucified was the Devil allowed to take the Lord's life. Even so, he had power to lay it down and take it up again.
Though we don't like to consider it, there's more to the Christmas story than a newborn who was God incarnate. He came to die for sinners who surrender their lives to him. Without Christmas, Easter couldn't have happened. Without Easter, Christmas would lose its meaning.
I hope to keep the emphasis of Christ's atonement front and centre in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? This is thee most important truth which all of us must deal with.