The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work – 1 John 3:8, NIV
When it comes to the meaning of Christmas, we always think of the nativity scene with Joseph, Mary and Jesus in the manger with the cattle lowing. We think of the angels who appeared to the shepherds keeping their flocks to announce the good news of the Savior’s birth in the City of David. We think of the shepherds rushing to Bethlehem to see the Child and then spreading the word concerning what had been told them about Him. We think of the wise men who traveled far to see the King of Israel to bring Him gifts and to fall down in worship.
Yes, Jesus came into the world to save his people from their sins but there was another very important reason for His coming and it too is good news. The apostle John tells us that Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work. How does He do that? Jesus Himself tells us as He quotes the words of the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18, 19). When Jesus was finished reading, He told those gathered in the synagogue that He had fulfilled that scripture that very day in their hearing.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus taught the people the Word of God which was the Good News of God’s love and His salvation. He healed diseases and sicknesses, gave sight to the blind, made the lame walk and drove out unclean spirits. He freed a woman who had been bound by Satan for eighteen years. Eyes that were blinded were opened and sinners were drawn to the love of God which was manifested in Christ. The Light had come into the world and many were brought out of the darkness. Jesus came to reveal the true nature of the devil whom He said was a murderer and the father of lies.
Jesus accomplished not only salvation for us when He came but something else that is very important. What was that? Hebrews 2:14 tells us, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14, ESV). The Good News is that Jesus has given us victory over death which will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26). Death will no longer have any power over us. Those of us who die in Jesus will be resurrected. Death will lose its sting.
Jesus came to take away our sins. Sin is of the devil. He uses deception to cause us to sin. 1 John 3:7 says that, “whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning”. Jesus came to help us to stop making it a practice of sinning. He Himself was as we were but He didn’t sin. He makes it possible for us to follow His example through the help of the Holy Spirit who not only convicts us of sin but enables us to practice that which is good and right in the sight of God. Being born of the Spirit means that we no longer practice sinning. It doesn’t mean that we won’t ever sin again but we have the assurance that when we do, “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1, 2, ESV).
Thank You, Lord Jesus for coming into the world to destroy the power of sin in our lives through the Holy Spirit and for destroying the works of the devil. As we celebrate this Christmas season, help us to enjoy the freedom we can enjoy only by living in obedience to You.