The Christmas Drama: A War Story
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall crush you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel.”
The Christmas season is the time of year when Christians, and even non-Christians, are reminded of the events surrounding the birth of Christ. Much of what we see portrayed in the nativity scenes, Christmas cards, church programs, etc. is quite “sanitized” and refined for contemporary audiences. The stable is cleaner than many hospitals, the costumes are bright colored and well tailored, and the animals in control of bodily functions. In addition, I have never seen the “slaughter of the innocents” depicted. (See Matt. 2:13-18). That event, though important to the Biblical drama, is too violent for our “G” rated productions. But Herod’s attempt to exterminate all the male children of Bethlehem under the age of two, was a continuation of the war that began in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15).
From the very beginning of the Biblical record, Satan has sought to abort the Seed of the Woman, who is Christ. From the first book of the Bible to the last, this is the basic warfare of history. All throughout history the Devil was either trying to keep Christ from being born, or to kill Him as soon as He was born. Let us recount the Biblical story:
Beginning with the slaying of Abel, Cain “inspired” by Satan was attempting to destroy the Seed. But Eve gave birth to Seth, the Appointed One, “in the place of Abel” (Gen. 4:25). The Seed was preserved through Seth, so Satan now sought to corrupt his lineage. As a result, within ten generations from Adam, virtually all of Seth’s descendants were corrupted (Gen. 6:1-12). But there remained one righteous man, by the name of Noah, and through him and his family the Seed was preserved. While God destroyed the whole earth for its wickedness, the Seed was safely in the Ark.
The narrative of the Scriptures takes us to the story of Abraham and his family, the chosen people for the preservation of the Seed. The children of Abraham became a “target” of Satan’s efforts to destroy the Seed. But time and time again, God protected the Seed of the Woman in the midst of the trials of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
In the beginning of the book of Exodus, with the chosen people in Egypt, Satan tries to destroy the Seed by having all the male children killed. But God protects the Seed and delivers the chosen people from bondage. Nation after nation warred against the chosen people, but God again and again, raised up a deliverer.
We then find the Seed being carried in a shepherd-boy named David. Once again God protected the Seed, as a demonized king tried to slay him with a javelin, not once but twice (I Sam. 18:10-11). King Saul mobilized his entire kingdom in an attempt to kill David (I Sam. 18-27), yet God protected David and seated him on the throne of Israel. David’s lineage, the House of Judah, became the object of Satan’s attacks. The wicked Queen Athaliah “destroyed all the royal seed of the House of Judah” (II Chron. 22:10), yet God preserved the Seed in the infant Joash.
In the time of Esther, the evil Haman, Prime Minister of Persia, attempted to launch a “holocaust” against the chosen people. But God raised up a deliverer once again, this time a woman, Queen Esther, and the Seed was saved from destruction. Do not forget that throughout the history of Israel, Satan was at work tempting the chosen people to offer up their own children as sacrifices to demons (Lev. 18:21; II Kings 16:3; II Chron. 28:3; Ps. 106:37-38; Ezek. 16:20). Why? It was the war against the Seed. Satan was trying to destroy Christ, the Seed of the Woman of Genesis 3:15.
This “war story” comes to a dramatic climax with the birth of Jesus, the Christ. King Herod, the Edomite ruler of Judea, is “inspired” by Satan to order the slaughter of the male children of Bethlehem. This incident is a significant part of the account. Satan sought to destroy the Seed in the cradle. (See Rev. 12:4). The Christmas drama is truly a war story.
Satan warred against the Seed of the Woman throughout Christ’s earthly ministry. Satan tempted Jesus to turn against His Heavenly Father, and sought to have Him murdered (Luke 4:28-29) on numerous occasions. Finally, Satan thought that he had orchestrated the perfect plan. He “inspired” Judas Iscariot to betray Him, setting Jesus up for crucifixion. Satan thought he had the Seed just where he wanted Him. But God “turned the tables” on the Devil. The Cross was God’s way of tricking Satan into fulfilling His purposes and bringing about his own defeat. The Cross was the “hidden wisdom of God,” which Paul speaks of when he states: “The wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (I Cor. 2:7-8). In wounding the Seed’s heel, the Serpent’s head was crushed.
That is the message of Christmas!