Celebrating Christ’s Resurrection at Christmas
Jesus died on Friday evening before the Sabbath had begun. (No, we didn’t confuse our holidays.)
His body was taken down from the cross before Sabbath and placed in a tomb. At dawn on Sunday morning, as soon as the sun rose, women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body with oils and spices. They expected a dead body, and they wondered who would roll the stone away so they could go in.
“And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back – it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here.” – Mark 16:4-6
The serpent had not won, for the Christ defeated sin on the cross, and now he has defeated death in the grave. Sin and death had both been defeated; both by the Christ child.
Genesis 3:15 has been fulfilled in a miraculous way, the serpent of sin and death has been crushed by the Christ child of righteousness and life!
Every human since Adam, has died and never lived again. But not Jesus – not Christ, he died a sacrificial death to deal with our sin, and he rose again, and in doing so he gave eternal life to all who trust him. His resurrection will become our resurrection. As for Satan, the serpent…
“When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” – Revelation 20:7-10
“Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” – 1 Corinthians 15:24
The serpent will finally be crushed – forever and ever. This is his definitive end; there is no uncertainty here. This is going to happen. Jesus is going to do this. Whose side are you on?
Believe it or not, the story of Christmas is right in center of all of it. We must also celebrate the one who has come to deliver us from the power of the serpent.
So yes, celebrate the birth of the Christ child. But celebrate his life too. Celebrate his suffering. Celebrate his death. Celebrate his resurrection. Celebrate all of these things, because you cannot pull these stories apart.
For he must reign, and he shall reign forevermore.