No Christmas without Easter

life post


Sounds like a funny thing to say, doesn’t it?  What does it mean? No presents without chocolate? No Santa without the Easter Bunny? Some rallying cry to protect public holidays? No, it’s about what Christmas teaches us. You see, Jesus was not born because God wanted a tourist trip to earth. He didn’t come primarily to teach or to inspire, he came to save. What was it that the angel announced to the Shepherds on that very first Christmas?

“Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

He calls Jesus a saviour. To save us from what? Jesus told us himself:

“Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34)

Jesus came to save us from our sin. You may not have noticed this Christmas, but our Christmas carols are filled with this message. Take for example the first verse of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’:

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray

Apparently ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ is one of the oldest carols, dating as far back as the fifteenth century. But even back then they couldn’t help but notice the purpose for Jesus’ birth. It was ‘To save us all from Satan’s power’. When we sin we enslave ourselves to Satan. It sounds whacky and old school, but this is the clear teaching of Scripture. Jesus makes the link himself when he is talking to his Jewish hearers. They claim they ‘have never been slaves of anyone.’ (John 8:33). But Jesus tells them, ‘You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.’ (John 8:44). The good news of Christmas, though, is that Jesus has come to rescue us from our slavery to sin and the devil. That’s exactly what he achieves on the cross. As the angel announces in the fourth verse of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’:

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”

How does Jesus do this? On the cross. His death rescues all who trust in him, just as the Christmas carol says. That is, Jesus came to earth (Christmas) in order to die and rise again (Easter) to save us from our sins. So this Christmas, as you sing the carols, listen to the words. They’re filled with wonderful truth that has been sung in different ways for thousands of years. Perhaps even this Christmas you will find the freedom from slavery that only Jesus offers.