THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE
1. Christmas is the time for lots of “goodies” including the Candy Cane. There is a “Legend of the Candy Cane” which may not really be true, but still has some very valuable lessons.
2. Jesus, when He was on earth, used things that people were familiar with to teach them spiritual truths.
3. For example, in Matthew 5, He used a city, lamp, and salt to illustrate Christian influence. In Matthew 6, He used flowers and birds to illustrate His care for His people. In Luke 15, He used a lost coin and a lost sheep to illustrate His love for the lost. In I Corinthians 9 Paul used a game (race) to illustrate the need of being faithful as a Christian.
4. In this study we will use a Candy Cane to illustrate and help us remember some things about the gospel.
I. When held upright the Candy Cane is in shaped like the letter “J”. This reminds us Jesus.
A. Jesus is the name given by the angel to Joseph. (Matt. 1:21).
B. Jesus means “Savior”.
C. The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world (1 Jn. 4:14).
II. Turn the “J” upside down and you have what looks like a Shepherd’s staff. This reminds us that Jesus is our Shepherd.
A. The Lord is my Shepherd (Ps. 23).
B. He is the GOOD SHEPHERD (Jn. 10:11).
C. He is the GREAT SHEPHERD (Heb. 13:20).
D. He is the CHIEF SHEPHERD (I Pet. 5:4).
E. Revelation 7:17 The Lamb will Shepherd them.
F. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Ps. 23:4).
G. Illustration: Old man knows the Shepherd.
III. White in the Candy Cane is for the purity of Jesus
A. He was without sin. (Heb. 4:15).
B. He was “separate from sinners” (Heb, 7:26)..
C. He “committed no sin” (I Pet. 2:22).
D. He is the “righteous Servant” who justifies many (Isa. 53:11).
E. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the sinless life of Jesus. If He had sinned one time He would have died for His own sins. Living sinless is impossible for us, and it was hard for Him.
F. He “suffered, being tempted” (Heb. 2:18). He “learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb.8). He suffered during His life on earth to the point of “strong crying and tears” (Heb. 5:7).
G. God demands perfect obedience and Jesus provided a perfectly obedient life to offer to God and it is His obedience that saves us (Rom. 5;19).
H. He was “made perfect” by His obedience (Heb. 5:9) and we are “perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:27).
IV. Red in the Candy Cane is for the blood shed for our sins.
A. He washed us from our Sins “in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5)
B. We are redeemed by the “precious blood of Christ” (I Pet. 1:19)
C. His blood cleanses us from all sin (I Jn. 1:9). Sins of our past. Sins of the present. Sins we will commit in the future.
V. Stripes in the Candy Cane are for the punishment for our sins.
A. It is “by His stripes we ore healed” (Isa. 53:5).
B. The chastisement we deserve was laid on Jesus.
VI. A Candy Cane is Sweet.
A. How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth. (Ps. 119:103)
B. We sing about it: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest name I know.
C. We sing: Sweet are the promises, kind is the word…
D. We sing; There is a sweet, sweet Spirit in the place.
VII. A Candy Cane Has To Be Consumed.
A. A Candy Cane is not for walking. It is not just to decorate or look at.
B. Candy Canes must be consumed to realize its sweetness and taste. Jesus must be consumed. Or, to say it another way, we must be consumed with Jesus.
C. Jesus is the “living bread which comes down from heaven that one may eat of it and not die”. (Jn. 6:51)
D. Later He explained what He meant: “he who feeds on Me will live because of Me” (Jn. 6:57).
E. Illustration: When a person is really dedicated to something we might say “He is eat up with it.” Which means it has consumed him. We must be consumed with Jesus.
F. Like Paul, we must say “For to me to live is Christ..” (Phil. 1:21) and “the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20).
But what has all of this got to do with the birth of Jesus? Everything. If the birth is not right the death does not count. It is because of His virgin birth that He could be named Jesus and become our Savior and Shepherd. It is because His birth that He could live a perfect and pure life for us. It is because of His birth that He could shed His blood for our sins. It is because of His birth that with His stripes we are healed. Everything hinges on the birth of Jesus. He had to become a Man in order to live a perfect life for us (I Cor. 1:30). He had to become a Man in order to be able to die for us. God, as God, cannot die. But God as a Man can and the only way for that to happen is the virgin birth. He had to be “born of the seed of David” in order to be “declared to be the Son of God with power” (Rom. 1:3-4).
Wayne Dunaway ‘