As the story goes, a Christian candymaker living in Indiana was driven to express his love of Jesus Christ, his strong Christian belief and desire to contribute to the celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ. After a long process of eliminating several ideas, the candyman chose the candy cane as his witness to Jesus Christ during the Christmas season.
At first, the candymaker chose a stick of white hardened sugar as his choice. For him, the white stick symbolized the virgin birth and sinless life of Jesus. The hardness of the sugar stick symbolized the rock solid foundation of the Church, the strength of God’s promise to save humankind and the unconditional love of God has for each person that has ever lived or will live.
The white sugar stick went over very well! However, the candymaker felt something missing from his candy cane. The candymaker added three red stripes to signify Jesus’ scourging on humankind’s behalf when the Roman soldiers whipped him with the three-pronged whip of bone, glass and metal. The large red stripe symbolized the blood shed of Jesus on the Cross for the salvation of humankind’s from its sins.
The last chemical or physical element added to the candy cane by the candymaker was the peppermint. Peppermint is a favor very similar to hyssop. Hyssop is a member of the mint family that was used during and before the time of Jesus by the Hebraic peoples for purification and sacrifice. In the mind of the candy cane maker, who knew his history, Jesus was and is the pure lamb of God who came into the world to be a sacrifice for the sins of humankind.
Lastly, the candymaker formed the candy cane in its current shape not for the
Christmas tree but in the form of a “J” to give honor to the Sacred Name of Jesus. This “J” accomplished another symbol but the candymaker never anticipated. When the “J” shape is turned the other way then it would be in the shape of a shepherd’s staff. This would symbolize Jesus as the “Good Shepherd”. Shepherds used their staffs to reach out to lift a wayward fallen lamb that fell in a hole or to pull them out of the many small caves that a man or small person could not crawl through in the Judean plains and valleys.
So when you see, give or eat of a candy cane, remember that it symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, Savior who was and is sinless and who suffered and died for the sins of all humans for all times