Most of you probably know that there is symbolism behind this most popular Christmas candy. The legends says that in the 1600s there was a choirmaster in Germany who would hand out sugar sticks to his young singers to keep them quiet during the live nativity program. And then around the turn of the century there was a candy maker who created the candy cane which would be a reminder of Christ and the symbols of his birth, ministry and his death.
“The candy maker began with a stick of pure white hard candy to symbolize purity, the Virgin Birth and the Solid Rock, foundation of the church and the firmness of the promises of God.”
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
Jesus was born of a virgin, grew to be a man and is the foundation and solid rock.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
“The shape represents the staff of the shepherds or the Good Shepherd himself, which when turned upside down, also is a ‘J’ as a reminder of Jesus.”
“The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
The Shepherd uses his staff to guide his sheep. The Lord guides us and gives us a sense of security when we feel His presence and His guidance in our lives.
“Three small red stripes were added to the traditional candy to represent the scourging of Jesus by the Roman soldiers’ and the large red stripe is a symbol of the blood he shed on the cross.”
“Since, therefore, we have now been justified by the blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Romans 5:9
We are made clean by the blood that was shed by our Jesus. There is no more need for lamb sacrifices as Jesus was the perfect, unblemished, spotless lamb sacrifice for us, for our sins.
“The flavor of the candy canes is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop. Hyssop, from the mint family, was used in the Old Testament for purification.”
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7
I love candy canes! We always had them hanging on our tree when I was a little girl. I almost can’t pass by a box of them without picking it up. I may not hang them on the tree anymore. But to me, I just love having them at the Christmas season especially. There is just something very Christmas-y about them. But I hope this year when I see a candy cane, I will stop and think and remember what my Lord did for me so that I could be washed clean!