THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTMAS
“Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15b
While we usually focus on the joyous and tender aspects of the Christmas story, there is a darker side. The other part of the Christmas story is nothing short of terrifying.
At Christmastime, we focus on the joy of Christ’s birth. He is the star of this true story. After all, He came to save us from sin. But there is another part of the Christmas story that is just devastating. In Matthew 2, the wise men seek the King Who is promised in the stars. King Herod receives them in a visit and asks that he be notified when they find this King. He said that he wanted to worship Him. What they did not know at the time was that Herod’s intentions were evil. He wanted to destroy anyone who would threaten his reign. It did not matter that the threat was an innocent child.
We often try to understand evil. We assume that all people have the same scruples. While we cannot understand evil, to a degree we can understand what it does. In this case, King Herod, when he found out that the wise men did not come back to tell him where this new King was located, became enraged. Out of this anger, he ordered the murder of every male child age two and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. A genocide of innocence. This man, who claimed to want to worship Jesus, did the unthinkable. And while Jesus escaped the sword this time, there would be a day in the future when He would willingly hand over His own life to save us from sin.
This sin nature is the evil that plagues us all. And Jesus would allow this same evil to nail Him to the cross, only to bring Himself to life on the third day.
Dear Heavenly Father
Thank You for sending Your son as a vulnerable baby. He became our High Priest before we ever knew that we needed one. You spared His life the first time so that He would willingly give up His life the second time. Show me the parts of my heart that are more like Herod’s than my savior’s. Help me never to be blind and turn into a Herod.
In Jesus Precious and Most Holy Name