The other day I saw a Facebook status mentioning an interesting dilemma. This dilemma is not one that every person has. This dilemma is specific to a select demographic of people that everyone knows and encounters annually.
Want to know the dilemma?
“When do you stop playing Christmas music?”
The only group of folks that really battle with this dilemma are those who play their own Christmas music and do not rely upon the season specific playlists of radio stations.
I am not one of those folks.
Do not get me wrong, I love Christmas music, but I go about it differently that a lot of people. For me, it really comes down to how theologically rich the lyrics are.
If it ain’t robust, I ain’t likin it (how’s that for scholarly language?)
I am not a fan of “Jingle Bells” (though I do enjoy one rendition by Bing Crosby), nor do I consider “Gradma got run over by a Reindeer” to be Christmas music, and I hate “Santa Baby” with a passion (sensuality has NO PLACE in Christmas music!).
In contrast, “O Holy Night” is one of my favorite songs. It goes to the heart of why we needed Jesus to come down in the first place: “Long lay the world in sin and error pining.” (full lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com/o-holy-night-lyrics-christmas-song.html)
Jesus came because sin had to be conquered.
But it was not until a week ago that I put together a very unique connection with the life, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.
Read the third verse of “Joy to the World”
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
Jesus came and conquered sin! Because of Him we can look forward to the New Heavens and New Earths where
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of the God gives light, and the Lamb its lamp” (Rev. 21:23)
“No longer will there be any curse.” (Rev. 22:3a)
If you remember one of my older blogs (https://deeplygrateful.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/a-saviour-is-needed/) where I discussed sin and sinfulness, it is because of Adam and Eve’s willing choice to eat of the forbidden fruit that sin entered the world. Not only did sin enter the world, but death. And with death, so also came a curse upon the earth.
“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.” (Gen. 3:17b-18)
The theological point that hit me while singing “Joy to the World” is that this very curse was the crown which was placed upon Jesus’ head before his crucifixion.
“The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to Him again and again, saying ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ and they slapped him in the face.” (John 19:2-3; see also Mt. 27:27-31; Mk. 15:16-20)
The soldiers found it amusing to make a fake crown and place it upon the brow if Jesus Christ of Nazareth. But their amusement gives us a clear picture of what Jesus came to do. He came to take sin and the curse of the Fall upon himself and reconcile us to God (2 Cor. 5:21).
And in taking that crown of thorns upon his very brow, He literally took the curse upon his head.
And because He suffered and died for us, He overcame sin and death and states “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
And soon this Victorious King who rose from the grave will come again to reign over this very Earth.
This is what Christmas is about.
For two other blog posts similar to this read