Some Christians argue that the Christmas tree is a Pagan symbol of worship, and we should not put up a Christmas tree. (Image~tripwiremagazine.com)
As we trace history, the Pagans are known to take Christian truths and distort them. Take a glimpse of the religions and customs of the pagan world, and you will find Bible truths that are re-packaged in lies and distortion. For example, Hindus believe this lie about their false god, Krishna: he was miraculously conceived by a virgin, his family had to travel to pay yearly tax, his birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds who brought gifts and so on. Does that story sound familiar? Who is behind these distortions of truth? The devil is the father of lies. “for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44
Listen to what God said about trees. “The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary…” (Isaiah 60:13) God’s glory was revealed as the Creator of the evergreen trees and His house was made beautiful by them.
Where did the tradition of Christmas tree lights come from? In the 1500’s, Martin Luther, turned the world upside down by teaching the Bible truth that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. Martin Luther is also credited as being the first person to put candles on a Christmas tree to represent “Jesus is the light of the world.” Traditionally, many times the Christmas tree is topped with a star or an angel to symbolize the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
There are two other very important trees mentioned in the Bible. These two trees represent God’s redemptive plan.
- The first tree brought separation.
- The second tree brought reconciliation.*
Can you guess what trees these are?
Once upon a time in the beautiful garden of Eden there lived the very first husband and wife. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed and they had the freedom to take freely of the land, but God had one limitation; Adam and Eve were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16,17)
Satan meets Eve by that tree and asks the first question designed to cast doubt on God’s love, plan, care and grace, “hath God said? By the way, Satan, to this day, uses this same method to put doubt in our minds as to the truth of God’s Word. God’s Word is true, no matter what circumstances are going on in our lives.
When something bad happens, have you ever had the thought, “God, don’t you care?” I asked that question when I was in my second trimester and experienced my seventh miscarriage. Guess who whispered that question to you and to me to cause us to doubt God and His Word? The father of lies, Satan. His plan is to create doubt, discourage, and depress. The truth is that God said in His Word that He loves you and me with an everlasting love. God tenderly cares for you and me with compassion and mercy.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 3:6
Did you notice Adam was with Eve in verse 6? You probably won’t miss it, because I put those words in bold. Adam was also not deceived according to 1 Timothy 2:14. He was with his wife, but did not protect or lead as the husband of his household. Husband means house-band. The husband is the band that keeps the household together. Notice, the division that occurred as Adam blames his wife and God for his sinful action. “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12)
When Eve looked at the forbidden fruit, she followed her feelings rather than the command of God. The devil will tempt wives to follow their emotions. Let us keep our feelings in control with the Truth of God’s Word. I desire to be Spirit-led, not emotionally-led. Because a wife has a huge influence on her husband’s decisions, she needs to ask the Lord for wisdom. I don’t want to influence the love of my life to make a poor decision for our family. So, I must spend time in the Word of God everyday. On the other hand, it is the wise husband who listens to the counsel of his Spirit-led wife. God gives discernment to the wife when she seeks God’s will for her family.
Confession of Heaven bound Homemaker: There were many times I influenced my husband for good, but there was one time my emotion-led influence makes me shudder to think about what could have happened. Let me just say that a suave debonaire young man who had read a book on “How to be a Gentleman” came for our daughter, and I was completely taken in by his charm. My husband knew the truth about the young man and thank the Lord, God worked things out for good for our family.
My advice to all wives out there: Because he is a man, our husband knows men better than we do, so we need to heed his counsel when the young men come to court our daughters. A husband can do a better job of sizing the young men up. Daddy should prepare his daughter ahead of time to be on guard of the deceptive young man. A wife can size young ladies up best. Mother should prepare her son ahead of time about the deceptive young woman. God warns about “her” in Proverbs. We are thankful to God for a godly daughter-in-law and godly sons-in-law for our three children! Blessed! Also, ladies, let us not be a matchmaker. We may be treading on dangerous ground. It is alright to introduce two people without having any ulterior motives; then allow God to do the rest.
Notice, Eve also blamed “another” for her sin. She blamed the devil for her actions. “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12) No, Eve, the devil did not make you do it.
Blaming someone else is a lame excuse for sinning. What are we blaming our sin on? Our past, someone else, our circumstances etc? What is our excuse for sinning? Do we realize pride is at the root of blaming others and making excuses for our sins? Have we taught our children that they are accountable for their sin before God and there is no excuse?
Adam and Eve both failed at that first tree, because Eve doubted God’s Word and Adam defied God’s Word. Sin and death entered into the world because of that first tree. First sin fascinates, then sin assassinates.
Because Adam and Eve sinned by eating of the forbidden tree, we are all born sinners. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
The good news is what God told the devil in Genesis 3:15; “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This Scripture is our hope. This Scripture is about the 2nd tree; the tree of Calvary.
Satan will first bruise Christ’s heel, his human nature. But, Christ will crush Satan’s head, Satan’s strategy. How? By dying for our sins on the tree at Calvary and by conquering the grave. This is a Christmas verse as to why Jesus was born of a woman, the virgin Mary. The seed of the virgin woman is Jesus Christ who will deliver the death blow to Satan by conquering sin and death .
A woman was the instrument that brought sin into the world, but God used a woman to bring the Saviour into the world.
Fast forward to Luke 2~ Once upon a time, there was a godly teenage virgin, named Mary. What a lesson for young ladies to stay pure! God still wants to use the unmarried godly virgin girl to impact the world for Him. I know TV and movies depict it as “normal” to lose one’s virginity before marriage, but that is not God’s design. Liberal minds and those who do not have morals write those Scripts. Making the choice to remain a virgin until marriage… what better wedding gift to give one’s spouse on the wedding night! Purity was my wedding gift to my husband and purity was his wedding gift to me. Our children and their spouses gave this wedding gift to one another. Purity is powerful!
Mary was gentle, and humble, so God chose her for a great honor. God uses the woman who is tender and submissive. God said, “Be ye holy for I am holy.” God will use the woman who has yielded all. Whether single or married, to find favor with God, a woman must be a clean vessel for His use.
The angel, Gabriel announced to the virgin Mary, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” Luke 1:30,31
Notice, Scripture says about Mary, “thou are highly favored.” (Luke 1:28) Mary is not lifted above women, Mary lifted womanhood.
Just as we all, born sinners need a Saviour, Mary needed a Saviour too, as she said these words, “My Spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:47
Jesus Christ was coming to earth to die on a tree. He would make his arrival, born of a virgin, in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes and he would lay in a manger. The question at Christmas is not that Jesus is born, but why was Jesus born?
We cannot get saved by the birth of Jesus. As Jesus grew up, He could not save in His healing power or by His incredible teaching. There was only one way Jesus could save us. “without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).” (Hebrews 9:22)
Jesus, the innocent had to die for the guilty! Jesus was born of a virgin. Had Jesus Christ been born like we were born, He would have been a son of Adam. Had He been the son of Adam, He would have been a sinner. Had He been a sinner, He could not have been innocent. What was His ultimate purpose for coming? Jesus Christ, the last Adam, came, born of a virgin, to undo what the first Adam did. Jesus Christ was born so that He could die! Jesus would hang on a tree, having become cursed for our sake, to bear the penalty of our sin. He would hang on a tree so that we could be freed from the curse of sin and have communion with God restored and spend all eternity with Him!
At age 33, Jesus was publicly brutally crucified. The pain of crucifixion on the tree is excruciating. Did you know the word, “excruciating” came from the Latin language and literally means, “out of the cross”. This cruel form of death created its own vocabulary word for pain; excruciating.
As He hung on the tree, Jesus ministered to the dying thief who ended up trusting Jesus to save him. Jesus showed honor to His mother and told John to take care of her. Jesus spoke His final words, “It is finished” which means, Paid in full! (John 19:30)
The first tree was in Eden. It revealed the pride of man.
The second tree was on Calvary. It revealed the pardon of man.
The top of the cross pointed toward the heavens to point the way there. The arms on the cross outstretched “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) God loves me this much with his arms outstretched on that tree! Thank You, Lord!
I am enjoying looking at my sparkly Christmas tree with wrapped presents underneath it. As I sit here, sipping on my coffee, Bible in hand, taking in my surroundings, I am reminded that the Greatest Gift was not placed under the tree; the Greatest Gift was hung on a tree… for you and for me.
The million dollar question is: What are we to do about the Free Gift?
“But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (trust) on his name.” John 1:12
Unwrap the free gift of salvation, by confessing to Jesus you have sinned and ask Jesus to save you. Receive Him into your heart today! For more on “how to be 100% sure you are going to heaven,” visit the post on my website:
You are cherished with an everlasting love! That truth makes me smile with JOY.
Merry CHRISTmas to all!
*Many statements in this post are from a sermon, by Pastor Stephen Davey.