Legend of the Candy Cane
According to the legend of the candy cane, this candy was first created back in the 18th century. At that time, in certain areas of Europe, there was said to be a ban on public displays of Christianity. Christians were oppressed and no Bibles or crosses could be owned at the time. One man found this oppression distressing and wished he could share the love of Jesus and the joy of Christmas with the rest of the world. When Christmas came around, children didn’t get to see nativity scenes or enjoy learning about the truth of Christmas. As a candy maker, this man prayed to find a way that he could offer local children a Christmas gift that would allow him to communicate the real story of Christmas. His prayer led to an idea — the Candy Cane ……
The Shepherd’s Staff:
He chose to make the candy cane in the shape of a shepherd’s staff. After all, Jesus is the shepherd to His followers and the Bible notes that the “sheep” would hear His voice and follow Him (Psalm 23:1, John 10:11, John 10:27-30, Isaiah 40:11).
The Letter “J” for Jesus:
Not only was the candy cane in the shape of a staff, but when held upside down, it formed a “J,” which stood for Jesus (Luke 1:31, Matthew 1:21).
He is a Rock:
The candy maker chose hard candy for the candy cane, which was done to remind children that Jesus was our “rock,” dependable and strong (Psalm 31:3)
By His Stripes:
Wide red stripes were added to the candy cane, representative of the crucifixion and the blood Jesus shed for our sins.
Red — His Shed Blood:
Through His blood, we are given salvation and life (Revelation 1:5, John 3:16, Luke 22:20).
White — Purification from Sin
There are also white stripes on the candy cane, which represents the holiness, and purity of Jesus, who was sinless (I John 1:7).
Sweet Fragrance of Christ:
Peppermint was the flavor that the candy maker chose for the candy cane. Peppermint was very similar to hyssop, which was used for sacrifice and purification in the Old Testament, reminding us of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. It also reminds us of the spices brought by the Wise Men when they came to visit Jesus (Psalm 51:7, John 10:29, Matthew 2:11).
Broken For Us:
Of course, when the candy cane is eaten, it is often broken, which the candy maker meant as a reminder that when Jesus was crucified, His body was broken (I Corinthians 11:24)
Love of Christ:
The candy cane was also made to be given as a gift, representing the love of Jesus when He gave us the gift of salvation.
Although no one is quite sure if the legend of the candy cane is really true, the beauty of the legend is such a beautiful reminder of God’s love for us around Christmas time …..
In this legend, it was a way that the candy maker could tell the children the story of Christmas and still today, we have candy canes as a reminder of the real reason we celebrate Christmas …
A significant symbol of Christmas is the simple candy cane. Its shape is the crook of our Shepherd. One of the first who came.
The lively peppermint flavor is the regal gift of spice. The white is Jesus’ purity. The red is sacrifice ….
The narrow stripes are friendship. And the nearness of His love. Eternal sweet compassion. A gift from God above ….
The candy cane reminds us all of just how much God cared. And like His Christmas gift to use, it’s meant to be broken and shared …
Loving Lord and heavenly Father, how we rejoice as we remember the wonder and joy of the birth of Christ into our fallen world on that first Christmas night, when the Prince of Peace Himself came to tabernacle among men – as was promised to our forefathers so many years before.
Thank You for the gift of Your Son. Thank You for the glorious gospel of peace that is shed abroad in our hearts when we trust in His name. Thank You for the Person of Jesus Christ, Who laid aside His heavenly glory and was born to die so that we might be born-again and live.
Father the glorious truth of the gospel of Christ is life and light to the children of men… it is peace and hope… it is love and joy … it is forgiveness and salvation… but too often the Christmas story has lost its impact on a world that has rejected Your truth and adopted the trappings of a world system, that is doomed to fail.
Forgive us Lord – forgive us for the rebellious nature that is so often displayed at this time of the year and look down with compassion and mercy on us all this Christmas time.
Rekindle the light of truth in the hearts of men and women throughout the world as we once again focus our hearts on Your humble birth and the redemption it provides for all who will trust in You, by grace through faith… and give all who have been saved by Your precious blood an abiding peace as we celebrate the beautiful truth of the glorious gospel of grace, in Jesus name we pray, Amen ….