A humble candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a confection that would be a symbol of the Christmas season, buy pills so he made the simple candy cane. It was to represent the full expanse and value of Jesus’ life here on earth.
He began with a stick of pure white, healing hard candy. White symbolized the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus Christ, and the hardness of the candy symbolized Jesus as the solid rock of the church. The candy maker made the candy in the form of a “J” to stand for the precious name of the one who came to the earth as our Savior. Flipped the other direction, it also represented the staff of a shepherd – the guiding instrument employed to direct the sheep. The staff in Jesus’ hand was the Holy Spirit which He left with His church after ascending to the Father. Thinking the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the humbling scourging Jesus received on our behalf at His crucifixion, and one larger stripe to represent the blood Jesus shed on the cross for our sins. The sweetness of the candy represents the joy ahead in heaven for all believers.
Because there are so many Christmas traditions and customs we practice this time of year, I never realized what the candy cane meant until I researched its origin. It now is a permanent reminder to our family not to lose track of what Christmas is about; it is more than just His birth, but all that Jesus did to save us for all eternity.
Perhaps during Christmas Eve you might give everyone in your family a candy cane, but before you bite into it, read and reflect over this simple story as well as the accounts of Jesus’ birth, sacrifice, resurrection and saving words abbreviated below.
His Saving Birth
8In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12“This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” 15When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
His Saving Sacrifice!
17They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.
His Saving Resurrection!
11But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
His Saving Words!
25Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die
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Our Saving Words?
9That if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, then we will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”