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December | December 22, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Chapter 12 is a fascinating interlude in the description of events during the tribulation. You have a pregnant woman who cries out in pain, as she is about to give birth. Then an enormous red dragon confronts the woman intending to devour her child the moment it’s born. Verse 5 says, “She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” The moment the child is born he’s snatched up to God’s throne. The woman flees into the desert hotly pursued by the dragon.
The woman, I believe, refers to Israel. The dragon is identified as the Devil. The son, the male child, is none other than Jesus Christ.
This is quite a different description of Christmas than the one found in the gospel of Luke, but it is in fact what was really going on. Herod, who tried to kill the infant Jesus, was merely a tool in the hands of the Devil. This archenemy of God stalked Jesus at every turn. In the end he actually played into the hand of God. When he thought he struck the fatal blow by having Jesus crucified; he actually witnessed Jesus Christ’s greatest triumph. Paul put it this way in Colossians 2:15, “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Revelation 12 depicts what I call “The Cosmic Christmas.” What we usually celebrate is a mere historical Christmas; very real, wonderful and true. But far more was going on behind the scenes. That bigger picture captures the real Christmas story, the basis of our salvation and hope. Praise God this Christmas for Christ’s victory.