Halloween means a lot of different things to people—jack-o-lanterns, creepy costumes, haunted maize fields, and candy by the bucket, to name a few.
Did Jesus celebrate Halloween? Well, no. But he did do some familiar things that are worth celebrating today.
1. Jesus moved into the neighborhood wearing a disguise.
Two thousand years ago, God himself moved into our neighborhood. He “made his home among us” on earth (John 1:14). He knocked on our doors in costume—taking human form. God “sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have” (Romans 8:3). God became a human like us—the God-Man, Jesus Christ.
But what did he get from us? Not a treat. “The world did not recognize him” (John 1:10). We left the porch light off when God’s Son came, using the darkness to hide our disobedience and sin (John 3:19). We killed him.
2. Jesus played a trick on the devil.
Before you read any further, ask yourself: if you died and knocked on God’s door tonight, would it be trick or treat? Would you be afraid to meet him?
You may not be afraid of ghosts and goblins, but if there’s anything worth fearing, it’s perfect, righteous God almighty. Nobody can face him and live (Exodus 33:20). We all lie, steal, and cheat. We have appetites for sex outside of marriage, which Jesus said was a sin (Matthew 5:28). We’re more than just imperfect; we’re sinners (Romans 3:23)—Satan’s slaves (Ephesians 2:1-2). If we’re honest with ourselves, we usually don’t care to obey God.
But Jesus came to us, and not for free candy. He offered us a treat we didn’t deserve, arriving on earth “not to be served, but to serve others, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). He died on purpose to suffer our punishment.
And so Jesus played a trick on Satan and the demons. He freed us from Hell by paying our debt himself. Evil spirits run and hide at the name of Jesus now because “he shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross” (Colossians 2:15). We have nothing to fear anymore.
3. Jesus publicly made fun of death.
Jesus didn’t decorate with plastic tombstones or dress like a zombie, but he did make fun of death itself—by rising from the dead three days later (1 Corinthians 15:3).
Because we’re sinners, we all deserve to die and go to Hell. So after Christ paid for our sins on the cross, his next task was to overcome death and releasing us from its consequences. If we trust in what Jesus did for us, that means:
- We get a changed life right now (Hebrews 10:14-18).
- We get to be with him in Heaven when we die (2 Corinthians 5:8).
- We get to be raised from the dead when he comes back to earth (1 Corinthians 15)—we’ll literally live forever!
Today, Jesus is actually sitting on a throne at God’s right side, immune from death, ruling over the universe. Take that, grim reaper.
4. Jesus wants to “hallow” you.
The word “Halloween” really means “All Hallows Eve”—the day before All Saints Day on November 1. That’s the same word from Jesus’s famous prayer: “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name…” (Matthew 6:9). The word “hallow” means to be made holy, pure, and set apart.
Jesus came to “hallow” you—to purify you from your sin and its consequences through his death and resurrection.
The best thing for you to do on Halloween is to simply trust what Jesus did for you. No tricks here. If you could earn God’s approval on your own, then Jesus died for nothing. Turn away from your sin and rely on Jesus alone.
Jesus said, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in…” (Revelation 3:20). Hear that doorbell?
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Image credit: Flickr/Ben Grey9 (CC 2.0)