Always Winter, Never Christmas

Eric EichingerBy Eric Eichinger7 Minutes

Excerpt Taken from Chapter 4 “An Ominous Crossing” of Lord of Legends: Jesus’ Redemption Quest by Eric T. Eichinger


Always Winter, Never Christmas

Not until Lucy and her siblings, all four of the Pevensie children, came through the wardrobe did events begin to churn into motion in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Soon after they all arrived, the advent of their adventure became evident. For countless years, the citizens of Narnia had endured the hardship of “always winter and never Christmas” under the treacherous rule of the White Witch. Yet the youth were told that because of their arrival, “Aslan is on the move.”20 Aslan, the kingly Christ-figured lion, was apparently on his way to restore all things under his reign.

Something changed when Jesus came to the world. God was on the move. The Old Testament gave way to the New. The chronic season of deathly winter, which had been a sinful world yearning for a Savior, melted with the Messiah’s birth. Christ descended from the heavenly celestial realm when Mary conceived Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. Naturally, nine months later, Jesus was ushered into a manger in Bethlehem.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” (Luke 2:7-14)

That first Christmas was a sacred event, Christ’s arrival in the flesh of Jesus was of universal importance. The Prince of Peace had come to contend with the prince of this world, Satan. The first Christmas, and every Christmas since, means that the warm light of hope for all humankind is real and visible. The people who had been living under the cold darkness of sin and death now have reason for joy. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isaiah 9:2).

Humanity can’t help but draw near to this precious infant king and the Good News He has to bring: forgiveness and righteousness. As a result, Christmas can be experienced every day in the midst of a fallen world. Knowing Jesus is an enchantingly warm, shelter-like experience, in which God meets humanity in the bitter, soul-freezing winter of sin.

In Jesus Christ, God’s presence, magnificence, and otherwise overwhelming power and glory became man. Concealed within the precious nature of an infant, God connects with humankind on a most tender and intimate level. He draws close to our hearts in the form of a gentle little child. The Creator becomes part of His creation: Christ Jesus, the Word made flesh. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Another way to translate this particular verse is “the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.” The tabernacle was the fragile tent of meeting for the Israelites in the Old Testament. It was a temporary temple pointing to a permanent one. It was also a place where sacrifices were made and God interfaced with humankind. All of these details are significant to keep in mind when John references the imagery of a tabernacle in his description of God in the flesh. God, in Jesus’ fragile tent of flesh, was certainly pointing to a more permanent, everlasting temple of His resurrected body. This would be accomplished by His ultimate sacrifice, all while He interfaced with humankind.

Jesus is not some distant God from on high who is completely out of our comprehension. He is relatable in a comforting way. The Word became incarnate and shares intrinsic commonalities with us. Jesus is the inexplicable familiar foreigner to all wanderers of this world.

During travel, an instant connection is felt when one discovers a complete stranger from a shared hometown. It can have a disarming effect. The Word becoming flesh conveys a shared experience on a profound level. Because God became man, He knows the same landmarks of pain and suffering that we know. He’s walked the same side streets of sadness and alleyways of anguish familiar to sinners of a sinful world. Jesus understands poverty and pain, hunger and thirst, the loss of a beloved friend, even death itself. That is the very purpose of why He crossed the threshold in the first place: to suffer in our place and die the death we should have on account of our sin.

20 C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (New York: Harper Collins, 1950), 19, 78.

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