Just last week the U.S. paused to remember Pearl Harbor Day. On December 7th, 1941 Japan mounted an unprovoked attacked on U.S. naval and air forces in Hawaii. The nation picked itself up and went to war.
American forces began to work their way through the South Pacific snapping off each tentacle of Japanese domination, but the battle would not be won. Japan was a fanatical, formidable and determined foe, willing to sacrifice everything to forestall defeat.
The war would not be won until it was taken to their home, the very island of Japan. Only then was victory attained. Only then did the flag of surrender fly over Japan.
We all have our own war to wage. The Scripture refers to Satan as our adversary (1 Peter 5:8). At the beginning of time, he entered our air space, and inflicted a crippling surprise attack on Adam and Eve and the human race they sired.
The battle between man and menace raged for many worn torn years. But the war would not be won until it was taken to his home. Earth, the throne of his dominion – his place of power – must be invaded if there was to be victory.
So, Jesus came.
The apostle John wrote, “For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
Christ was God clothed in flesh. He chose to don that not so gay apparel, in order to meet the devil on his own turf and bring the battle to his stronghold.
The first skirmish took place in the thirsty Judean wilderness where Jesus resisted the relentless voice of the devil who tried to badger Him to compromise. From there Jesus rolled through the promised land liberating the demon possessed and alleviating the diseases they inflicted.
Satan’s simpering minions cowered when Jesus appeared. “They cried out, “Son of God, leave us alone! Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29)
However, Satan dealt a knockout blow when his mole betrayed Christ into the hands of the bloodthirsty leaving Him on a cross until He had bled the last drop.
Three days later, Christ unexpectedly but decisively won the battle and the war when He triumphantly emerged from the dead.
Japan surrendered September 2nd, 1945. Soon after they released their prisoners of war. Among them were 14,473 emaciated but grateful Americans.
Paul spoke of the devil as holding people captive to do his will. (2 Tim 2:26) and when Jesus invaded his domain, Jesus also set the captives free. (Ephesians 4:8)
Jesus has defanged the devil and one day will return to this earth to put him away forever.
So a second and most important purpose in the Incarnation of Christ was to defeat the devil.
Now you may be thinking, “Christmas is about the incarnation, and this devil stuff is out of place. If it were part of the Christmas story, we would be singing about it – right?”
Well maybe we should. Forget “Ding Dong Merrily on High” and let’s sing (with Munchkin like voices) “Ding Dong the devil’s dead.”
Or maybe we could amend a few carols to include the theme. For instance “Away in the manger no crib for a bed, but He died on a cross now the devil is dead.” Or how about “Silent night, Holy night, the devil ran away in fright.”
I hear you. But the theme actually is implicit in a few our Christmas Carols like O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The verse goes, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel; that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.”
The song captures the pathos of our situation with a haunting melody and minor dissonant chords. It colors the human condition with sadness, thanks to the evil one who once held us captive.
Fortunately, we also have carols like Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. The verse goes, “Come thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free.” Jesus – God who chose to be born as man in order to invade and defeat the devil on his own turf – He has set us free.
Hey why settle for a verse when you can hear the whole song! Relish His victory as you listen to the link below: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus by Fernando Ortega https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dmO8UPlWoo
PS: What did the sheep in the manger scene say?
All Bible references from the NET Bible ®