By Mike Kelsey, @MBCSilverSpring Campus Pastor
We’re getting ready to turn the corner on a new year! But we have to get through Christmas first! The trees are up, the lights are lit, and the holiday music is in full effect (Buble’ and Jackson 5 reign supreme in the Kelsey household). But those things aren’t the substance of the season for us. As Christians, we work hard to remember the amazing truth of Christmas: The God above us became God with us!God came near to humanity in an unprecedented and breathtaking way in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus brought forgiveness from our sin and a PERSONAL relationship with God. This was and is revolutionary! But sometimes, we forget that the birth of baby Jesus wasn’t just revolutionary; it was a revolution.
The two verses below may not seem relevant to the Christmas season, but they help put Christmas in context:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
“…The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
The birth of Jesus was an act of war. A war against everything that undermines the authority, holiness and goodness of God. A war against everything that keeps God’s creation from properly functioning and fully flourishing. A war against the Evil One who, through sin, holds captive those made to be image-bearers of the Holy One. It was as if God the Father lobbed a grenade into enemy territory. God assaulted the kingdom of darkness with a baby.
Jesus entered the domain of darkness in order to bring liberating light (Luke 4:6; Colossians 1:13). He infiltrated the stronghold of Satan in order to set captives free (Mark 3:27; Ephesians 4:8). This is exactly what God promised in Genesis 3:15. This was the first glimpse of the Gospel—a declaration of victory over Satan and his kingdom through the messianic seed. A rescue mission activated through the people of Israel, accomplished through the coming and work of the promised Messiah, advanced through the Church, and awaiting completion at the end of the age. So when we see the baby in the manger, we are reminded that the cavalry has come! God is fulfilling His promise to overthrow the dominion of Satan!
So, as we prepare to enter a new year, what does Christmas have to do with us at McLean Bible Church? Together, we are an army sent into the world to gather the spoils of war. Our general came as a baby in a manger, armed with grace and truth, operating by a law of love. But He is fiercely victorious nonetheless. We enter the Satanic strongholds of our city just like Jesus did, with the disarming humility of a baby and yet with the dynamic power of Almighty God. We preach, pray, sing and serve in order to see people transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Christ.
Praise God that the King has come! Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.