“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he (Christ) made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:15, NIV
October 31 is a day we know as “Halloween” was originally a Medieval Holy Day. Today, it has morphed into a time characterized by dressing up in costumes, children “trick-or-treating,” and a celebration (of sorts) of ghost, goblins, witches, and other characters and personalities of the occult. The term Halloween is a variant of the Old Scottish term “All-Hallows-Even” meaning All Hallowed Evening, the evening before All Souls Day, a special Mass Day to celebrate all of the Christian saints. Practices of carving pumpkins (or turnips) originally associated with fall and harvest time were gradually assimilated into the religious festival (All-Hallowed-Evening). Gradually, other “monster” and “death” themes overtook the festival in the 20th century with the advent of horror movies like Frankenstein. The practice of dressing up in costumes and going door to door, or “trick-or treating” was also borrowed from early Celtic customs associated with “All-Hallows-Even” as the poor would go door to door asking for food in exchange for prayers for the dead. Dressing up in costumes, or “guising” was also a practice that imitated “the dead.” Seeking food for them was thought to placate their spirits (similar to ancient Egyptian mortuary rites and rituals). In our day, Halloween has come to be associated almost exclusively with celebration of witchcraft, evil, demons, and all that encompasses that which is frightening, scary, haunted, ghostly, and of “the dark side.”
Of all days, today let us remember that Christ came to “destroy the devil's work” (I John 3:8). On the cross, Christ conquered the powers and authorities in the heavenly realms associated with darkness. Christ removed the veils, masks, fears, and disguises that separate us from God. Through the blood of Jesus all that separates us from the love of God is removed. The spiritual reality is that the Devil and his henchmen are defeated enemies. They prowl around seeking to do hard, but their power and their tricks are limited and are destined for destruction.
Christians often ask, “Is it wrong to celebrate Halloween?” Given the truth of the gospel, what Christ accomplished on the cross, and the position we now hold in Christ as seated with him in the heavenly realms, why would we want to celebrate it? It doesn't make any sense to celebrate anything associated with our defeated enemy-the one whom Christ defeated on the cross, and the one whose work our Lord came to destroy. Of all days, today, we need to remember what Christ did on the cross: He defeated the work of the enemy!