If there was a Hall of Fame for Christmas Movies Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer would be a voted in on the first ballet via unanimous decision. It’s a classic. We’re all familiar with this story in this movie. However today for the first time it dawned on me how similar Rudolph is to Christ!
Yes, I realize what I just said and no I’m not crazy (well at least I tell myself that) so let me explain:
Rudolph is born different from the start. He enters the world different than his friends, his family, and all other of his species. It’s apparent early on that he is special. He has something no one else has… a red nose that can glow! You would think that the other reindeer would be like “dude, Rudolph that’s totally awesome!” and embrace it and him also, but they don’t. In fact, they don’t even accept him at all. Why not? Did they hate him because he was different? Were they secretly just super jealous of his illuminated nostrils? We may never know. Instead they laughed and called him names (like Pinocchio) and what’s worse, they never let poor Rudolph join in any Reindeer games (like Monopoly). They mistreated him, teased him, mocked and shunned him. He found refuge only in Clarice and his own parents. However, despite the small amount of supporters in comparison to the “haters” it wasn’t enough for Rudolph and ran away. Skipping ahead in the story after an awesome series of events Rudolph finds himself back at the North Pole.
It’s Christmas Eve and Santa is in a heap of trouble! Reindeer poop is about to hit the fan! It’s crunch time, it’s down the wire but “it’s one foggy Christmas Eve”! What are the Reindeer to do? Santa can’t see. The other Reindeer can’t see. There is no way out of this mess! Christmas for the entire world is in jeopardy. Every child on earth’s Christmas happiness hangs in the balance. Yes, it seems as though the fog and darkness will destroy all happiness and there is no way to cut through it. They needed someone’s saving grace, to save Christmas for not only them, but each and every person on earth! They needed a redeemer of sorts, but who? Bam! Remember Rudolph? You know, that other Reindeer? Santa did, and then came to say: “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
It’s key to notice Rudolph’s reaction. He had been mistreated, teased, tormented and slighted his whole life by these reindeer, but now, in the biggest of all situations he was needed by his tormentors. Yes, the same ones that never gave him the time of day. Yes, the same ones who relentlessly and adamantly opposed him. What was he to do? He could have dished up a piping hot plate of “karma” with a side of crow and offered them a nice warm glass of “shut the heck up” to wash it down with but he didn’t. Rather he busted out the greatest display of awesomeness those Reindeer had ever seen. He put on a clinic of forgiveness. He forgave all the other Reindeer on the spot and rushed to their aid! Christmas for not only the reindeer but for every person on earth was saved by him and through him. Then all the Reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee “yippee, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer you’ll go down in history” (like Columbus).
As you can see the similarities between the story of Rudolph and the life of Christ are actually pretty plentiful. In fact, they may even be approaching plagiarism on Rudolph’s part. Maybe it’s meant to be that way. Maybe the story of Rudolph is really the story of Christ in disguise? Maybe it’s a way we can all remember Christ that much more? Maybe when we sing and understand Rudolph’s story we’re really meant to sing about and understand Christ’s story. I don’t know if that’s the real intention, but what I do know is things were different with Christ from the start also.
From the prophesy of his birth, the star, the means of Mary conceiving, his entrance into the world in such humble circumstances and more it was clear he was different from the start. How ironic that the Savior of the world, the greatest of us all, was born in not in pomp and palace, but in a manger. Christ was welcomed to this world not surrounded not by precious stone, marble, and countless servants but rather with animals and hay. Ironic, but incredibly symbolic and telling of who he was, is and always will be.
Just as there is now, to all goodness and love there is opposition. In Christ’s case there was the despicable action taken in attempt to prevent Christ’s very birth. Man’s attempt to thwart God’s will failed. As Christ grew so did the number of followers and opposition he had. He was polarizing. Those who were pure in heart saw him for who and what he truly was, while the others clouded by the fog and darkness of jealousy and pride didn’t want to or even refused to see.
The world was ripe. They needed help whether they new it or not. They needed a Redeemer. We all did. However, just like the Reindeer did, they were mocking the one, THE ONLY ONE, who could, and had the ability to help them!
Christ was wrongfully accused and allowed himself to be taken to the cross. There, while on the cross mere moments after demonstrating the single greatest display of love, and forgiveness history has ever or will ever see, he then died to perform the single greatest act the world has ever or will ever know.
It’s mind boggling to understand even a small or simple portion of this. Personally, I don’t know if our minds are even capable of doing so. Even the tip of this iceberg is jaw dropping. To understand that in the very moment, in more pain than we could even imagine or withstand, while being tortured, ridiculed, spat upon, and tormented, Christ, while hanging from a cross he himself was forced to carry himself, with nails driven through his wrists and hands, while wearing a crown of thorns and bleeding forgave those who had done or even supported these actions in the very moment they had and were doing them. This goes beyond Job’s life, this goes beyond anything we can even comprehend! Then he died. Did he die for his supporters in the crowd? Yes… and of course also those who hated him, despised him, laughed, mocked and jeered at him as they watched his mortal life slip away. He gave his life for EVERYONE. Words don’t exist that properly put that into perspective. It’s absolutely amazing.
Here’s where the story differs. With Rudolph, after his miraculous act, “all the Reindeer loved him”. With Christ it’s much different at the moment. Even though Christ has already performed the ultimate act if sacrifice for each of us, and offered a means to be saved for everyone, and despite what we has done for us since then, and will continue to do for us… not all the “reindeer” love him! There are many who still hate, still scorn, still despise him. Yet he still remains patient, still hoping and pleading with those to take a gift that will make them happy beyond measure and provide endless joy and happiness that unfortunately still remains wrapped.
If your like me your wishing this story had a happy ending. Well, it does… because we’re not all the way through the story are we!
If you skip to the end of the story, to “the last page” you’ll read the promise: “EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, AND EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST”! That, is a happy ending!
So this season, let’s take a minute to try to understand, so we can realize that not only this time of year, but every day that Christ is the gift. The perfect gift in every way. What more do we need? What more could we want? He is Christmas. He is life. He is the reason and the goal. His life, his death and the atonement is the gift we can use every single day, every moment of our day. He is joy, love, happiness, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, and understanding. He is everything we can ever or will ever need. He is not only what Christmas is all about, but rather what LIFE itself is about.