Christmas Day 2014
You who are aware of my daily blog will know that I did not actually write this on Christmas Day 2014. My writing has been concentrated on Bible commentary for the Journey through the Bible for 2014. Since we are near the ending of the year the Journey through the Bible has daily readings in the Revelation of John. Of the five books that John wrote it is in Revelation that he comes closest to telling the Christmas story. In Revelation the Christmas story is told from the perspective of events in heaven. What happens in heaven is reflected by events on earth. We know the Christmas story from the point of view of Matthew and Luke. These gospel writers tell of the announcements to both Zechariah telling of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, telling of the conception of God with us, Immanuel. We know of the birth in Bethlehem and the angelic announcement to the shepherds who tell all they see of the birth of the Lamb of God. We know of the visit of the Magi and the flight to Egypt and the return to Nazareth in Galilee. John tells us of what was happening in heavenly realms to make all of this possible:
- “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.”
- “Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.”
- “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.”
- “When the dragon was that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.”
- “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.”
Read all of Revelation 12 to get the full heavenly perspective shown to John. I have only quoted a few pertinent lines to give the outline of the events. One interpretation makes the woman Mary and surely she was the instrument through whom the Christ child came. Another way of interpretation is that the woman is the larger figure of Israel which makes the ending of the story more appropriate because her offspring then become children of our patriarch of faith, Abraham.The point of this heavenly picture is that we are able to see clearly the spiritual battle behind the earthly scenes of the birth and life of Christ. The battle raged all during the events on earth as Jesus conquered sin, the world, and Satan. We also see that the battle continues on earth as Satan is attempting constantly to defeat and overcome those who walk in faith and are thereby able to be obedient to the commands of God.