Summary: Christ was born to die. From the moment He was born, the Cross at Calvary cast its shadow upon that Infant and would never leave Him until He had finished His mission. He was born to die.
Born to Die, Living in the Shadow of the Cross
At Christmas we like to think of the Baby lying in a manager. We like the warm and tender feelings we get from songs like “Away in the manger” and “Silent Night”. The world by large does not give any thought as to why this Babe was born. But, this birth was no accident it had been planned from the very foundation of the world. It was planned with a purpose. Far from Bethlehem was Calvary. The Cross at Calvary cast its shadow upon that Infant and would never leave Him until He had finished His mission. He was born to die. The purpose of his birth was his death.
I. That Christ was to die was decreed before the creation of the world by the God
A. Revelation 13:8 “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
B. Acts 2:23 “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”
C. 1 Peter 1:18-20 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”
II. That Christ was to die was declared in the Garden of Eden by the Lord
A. Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
B. Here we have the first promise and beginning of the Gospel. Beginning with this pronouncement delivered to Satan of his fate, said within the hearing of fallen man, a scarlet thread begins to weave its way through the pages of Scripture finding its culmination at the cross.
III. That Christ was to die was prophesied by sages and bards of old.
A. Psalms 22:16 “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (fulfilled – Matthew 27:35)
B. Isaiah 53:5-6 (Paraphrased) – “But He was wounded (or pierced) because of our transgressions, bruised (or crushed) because of our iniquities; the chastisement (or punishment) for our peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
IV. That Christ was to die was proclaimed at His birth by the angels
A. To Joseph - Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
B. To the Shepherds – Luke 2:10-12 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
V. That Christ was to die was pictured by the gifts of the Magi
A. Matthew 2:1, 11 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him... And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
B. Shortly after the birth of the Messiah, magi (wise men) from the East arrived in Jerusalem and inquired of King Herod where the real king of the Jews was to be born. They had traveled several hundred miles to worship this Babe guided to Bethlehem by a supernatural celestial phenomenon – a star and by the Scriptures, their ancestors having been instructed by Daniel the prophet about the coming Messiah. When they saw the child, they fell down and worshiped him. This was God in the flesh. They could do no other. – Bowing before Him they gave him gifts--gold, frankincense, and myrrh. One of these gifts was unusual – myrrh. Myrrh, like frankincense, was a perfume. But unlike frankincense, myrrh smelled of death. In the ancient world, it was used to embalm a corpse. Jesus himself would be embalmed with this very perfume (fulfilled - John 19:39). The gift of the myrrh pointed to Jesus' death in fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy (9:24-27). - adapted