In this sermon we begin our Christmas teaching series entitled “CHRISTMAS: A Divine Conspiracy”. I know when I think of Christmas, my first thoughts are of the sweet scene of Jesus in the manger on that silent night, asleep “in heavenly peace.” That thought is likely influenced by the 15+ nativities Kathy has collected over the years and displayed in our home. As serene as that scene outside of Bethlehem may have been on that first Christmas night, the scene in the spiritual realm was anything but serene. In fact, the scripture gives us the image of all out war. The Apostle John, writing about the vision God gave him, records in Revelation 12 a great cosmic battle raging over the birth of a child. I understand that passage in light of the birth of our Lord Jesus.
As charming and beautiful as the manger scene might be, we must remember that there was always a Cross looming in the background of that Cradle. That Cross would mean a violent death for the one “asleep on the hay” and HE would endure it all for you. Jesus, God-in-the-flesh, came into this world to do battle with all of the forces of hell and in HIS Divine Conspiracy against those forces, restore God’s “Peace on earth among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:14). That restoration of peace with God would be just one step toward Jesus’ ultimate goal of the “restoration of all things”(Acts 3:21).