We tend to think of the birth of Jesus as this peaceful event. But there is another account of the birth of Jesus that gets overlooked in which we see that that was not the case. Mathew, Luke and John are not the only books with the birth of Jesus. We also find it in Revelation 12. And there John reveals that all was not calm. In the heavenly realms all hell was breaking loose. Jesus coming down to earth was an invasion behind the lines of enemy territory.
As a result of his deception Satan, the serpent, had pulled mankind away from relationship with God. He convinced us to rebel, to reject God’s commands, to eat the fruit. So we were subject to the sin curse. But God doesn’t give up on us. There was a war going on for our souls. And the dragon Satan wasn’t going down without a fight.
“Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labour pains and the agony of giving birth.
Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads…. She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations…. Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.
Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last—salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.”“ Revelation 12:1-3,5,7-10
But here is the awesome thing – the angels fought back, and completely defeated him. The dragon has nothing compared to the power of God. And in Revelation 19 and 20 we read the end of the story. We find out what happens at the end of the battle we find ourselves in now. Jesus, our long awaited Saviour returns. Not as a baby this time, but as the King of Kings, riding victoriously on a white horse, with the title “Word of God” (Revelation 19:13) – a title that echoes back to John 1 where we started this advent journey. And the war that has been raging from that moment in the garden, the war that was being fought over the souls of mankind reaches a decisive conclusion. Jesus is victorious! The serpent is crushed. The dragon is slain. The forces of evil are totally routed. There will be no survivors on the side of darkness. The devil will be thrown into the firey lake of burning sulphur. The birth of Jesus that first Christmas was a declaration of intend, a statement that God was not standing back or abandoning us. That we were not alone in the war. God is with us! Jesus is reaching out to us, heaven touching earth dressed for battle, fighting for us!
At Christmas we are reminded of the good news that though we are in a spiritual battle right now, with Satan trying to bring us down we are not alone. God himself became man and moved into our neighbourhood, entering the scene to defeat the power of death, to offer hope to all mankind. And right now the angelic host of heaven are not just singing “Hark” but are fighting dragons for us. There is a war going on, centred on the Nativity scene, but we are not fighting alone!