One of the defining battles of World War One happened in the trenches of Northern France where soldiers fought for months under the ground holes alongside dead bodies, rats, rotten smells and high explosives. It was a muddy bloody conflict. An estimate of 37 million people died overall due to that war.
But on the evening of December 24, 1914, the soldiers of Britain, France and Germany began to step out of the trenches and ceased fighting against each other and began to sing Christmas carols, exchanged gifts and cigars and played football- “This once in a lifetime vision I will not forget,” said one soldier of the German infantry.
It was a scandalous yet a wonderful sight. Not the horrible atrocities of war but the captivating spectacle of peace and goodwill brought by Christmas that makes it unthinkable. It’s a ceasefire brought by the birth by not any man but by Jesus Christ.
It was later called the Christmas Truce.
The war did not end but light has dawned that night on humanity.
We are on a Great Battle when Someone Rose Up from the Mud
The Christmas Truce story is a picture of our life – we are in a war- a greater war, a spiritual war, and that war started since Genesis 3- it is a war against our Creator through our sins. It is greater than fighting against Germans or against Americans or Japanese because God is the Greatest Superpower and more frightening than a nuclear weapon.
But God’s response is better- He threw Himself. His response is more wonderful than getting out of the cold trenches and singing carols and exchanging cigars and playing football; – God’s response is greater- He gave Himself. God became Man.
To us a child was born; to us a son was given (Isaiah 9:6). “And he shall be their peace” (Micah 5:5).
After Creation, Christmas is the greatest thing that ever happened to this Universe.
He came to our dark and horrible trenches and sang a gospel song on that silent night, that holy night: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17:5)
And that whoever believes and trusts that Son will no longer be at war with God, but will be at Peace with Him forever- greater and longer than the peace that the Allied Forces brought to the world.
As long as humanity is alive, He is calling rebels from our rat-infested holes to enjoy peace with Him.
Christmas is the Gospel Song that can cease our war against God, our true self and against loving others truly.
Jesus Christ Alone can save and satisfy our soul.
Christmas – Saved from What?
The loud message of Christmas is contained in these words: “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy that shall be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior” (Luke 2:10–11).”
But why do we need a Savior? Where do we need to be saved from?
For sure, by our felt needs, we feel to be saved from:
- Financial Salvation – we may need money, career, business, physical food
- Emotional Salvation – we may need a friend, a partner, a group, a barkada
- Political Salvation – we may need politcal reform or a promising politician
But Jesus did not come come to save us from the above-mentioned problems only because he knows and addresses our true and real need.
We have three real needs:
- We need to be saved from the ugliness and deception of sin. “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The central meaning of Christmas is highlighting our need to be saved from sin.
- We need to be saved from God’s wrath. “Therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:9)
- We need to be saved from shallow joys. “we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:11) We need to be saved from temporal joys that don’t really satisfy to One that truly satisfies.