A Symbol of Christmas
Over the next few days, we are going to talk about some particular Christmas decorations and how they are symbolic, not just pretty. Today, it’s Christmas Holly!
Decorating with Christmas Holly
I am fascinated with how many millions of different plants God gave us to enjoy here on this earth. Holly is one of my favorites and it always has been. I love how shiny and durable it is and red is one of my favorite colors so, of course, I love holly’s bright red berries. So, why do we Christians decorate with Christmas Holly?
When Jesus was born in human flesh, there was already a shadow of things that were coming. Though His birth brought great rejoicing in heaven and on earth, Mary and Joseph knew that Jesus had come to save His people from their sin.
Holly symbolizes things that were to come in His life. It symbolizes two aspects of His death that are very poignant even/especially at a happy time like Christmas.
Worthy of Celebration
In all our shopping, celebrating and gift giving, what is or should be in our minds is why Jesus came, right? He came to live His human life before us without sinning even once. Then, He took our sin as His own and died so that we could be forgiven, saved and set free from God’s penalty for sin, which is death. He conquered death for us by rising from the dead. He paid for our sin, our freedom from sin, and our reconciliation back to God with His perfect life. That is what we are supposed to be celebrating, isn’t it!?! Great rejoicing, indeed!!
I have heard it said, many times that Christmas would be meaningless without Easter. This is so true! The birth of Jesus Christ and His death are so closely related. He lived with a focused purpose – to glorify the Father by saving His people from their sin.
Now Back to Christmas Holly
Holly has deep evergreen, shiny, prickly leaves – these prickly leaves represent the crown of thorns that was placed on Jesus’s head when He was crucified.
“And they clothed Him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on Him.”
Holly also has bright red berries – the red berries represent the blood drops Jesus Christ bled as He died for each of us.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.”
A Couple More Tidbits
Several other countries have named holly a name that denotes Christ’s death even in the name of it.
There is a legend that says that the berries were white until Christ shed His blood and then the berries turned red and have been red since then.
Think of Jesus
I hope you are having a beautiful and happy Christmas season. May we think of Jesus and what He has done for us every single time we see a piece of Christmas Holly!
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