Christmas in Reverse: The Epicenter

If you had to pick the single, most important moment in history, what would you pick?

Creation?
The fall of man?
The invention of fire?
The signing of the Declaration of Independence?

Maybe, if you’re in the Christmas spirit, you’d select the birth of Christ.

Not me. I’d pick the resurrection. The moment when Jesus burst forth from the grave His enemies carved for Him is the epicenter of it all. It is the nail that every other moment in history hangs on.

This week, we’ll be telling stories on the blog. Grab a cozy blanket and a cup of coffee (extra whip here, please!), and snuggle in beside the Christmas tree. These are the stories of Christmas, though they may not feel like it at first glance. We’re telling the Christmas story in reverse.

Christ’s story didn’t begin and end in a manger. The true miracles of Christmas weren’t the angel chorus, the mysterious wise men, or the mother who treasured all things in her heart. We want you to see the bigger story, the gospel story, that’s at the core of Christmas. Today, we begin that journey to the manger at the tomb of the resurrection.

When the Father sent the Son to be wrapped in swaddling clothes, shedding His burial shroud was a part of the master plan.

It’s a storyline most often relegated to Easter. We are more accustomed to saying, “He is Risen!” when spring is in full bloom than when snow is on the ground. But when the Father sent the Son to be wrapped in swaddling clothes, shedding His burial shroud was a part of the master plan.

Like the Christmas story, the resurrection may be familiar. Yet it’s a story that never gets old, never loses its shine. Let’s revisit it together as we warm our toes by the fire.

Retelling the Resurrection Story

Christ was brutally murdered and buried in a borrowed tomb. We’ll get to that part of the story tomorrow. For now, let’s remember that the Savior of the world, the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” we hear spoken of at Christmas was dead. His lifeless body lay decaying, locked behind a cold wall of stone.

That doesn’t feel merry and bright. It feels hopeless. And it was. For the briefest of moments, the world was without hope.

But God . . .

And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you” (Mark 16:6–7).

This is the “good news of great joy” the angels announced to the shepherds (Luke 2:10). Like the gold, frankincense, and myrrh the wise men gave to the baby King, the resurrection is a gift of immeasurable worth. Here are the three gifts of the resurrection:

Gift #1: We Serve a Living God

Jesus rose from the grave because death had no hold on Him. Other religious leaders are dead, buried, entombed. But not Jesus. Right now He sits at the right hand of the Father (Rom. 8:34). He is alive and always will be.

Jesus didn’t come to give us warm fuzzies. He came to save us from our sin.

Christmas isn’t a fairytale. It isn’t a history lesson. Jesus was born on Christmas morning and remains with us today. Because of Him, death loses its grip on us, too.

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep (1 Thess. 4:14).

Gift #2: Christ’s Birth = Our Rebirth

Jesus didn’t come to give us warm fuzzies. He came to save us from our sin.

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).

Jesus’ victory over death paved the way for our victory over sin.

Gift #3: We have HOPE!

Hope buzzes like an electric current through us all this time of year. Our chins are up. Our arms are open. Our weapons are temporarily laid down. That’s not a by-product of Black Friday doorbusters or twinkling lights. Jesus is our only hope. The warmth we feel is a result of looking full on His wonderful face. Without the resurrection, the miracle of Christmas would have been snuffed out.

I’ve been holding on to this verse with both hands lately. I hope you will grab on to it, too.

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more (Ps. 71:14).

Because of the resurrection, we can have hope long after the ornaments are packed up and the we’ve rung in the New Year.

Because of the resurrection, we can have hope long after the ornaments are packed up and the we’ve rung in the New Year. Our hope is in Jesus alone. Since death cannot hold Him, Satan cannot stop Him, and darkness isn’t dark to Him (Ps. 139:12), we can have hope every day of the year.

You may be on Christmas break, but we hope you don’t mind a little homework assignment. Grab your Bible, and read the following verses.

Mark 16:1–8
Luke 24:6–7
1 Peter 1:3

How does the resurrection change the Christmas story for you? Tell us about it below.

About Author

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Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

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