Summary: Three great milestones mark the life of Jesus Christ: His Incarnation, His Sacrifice, and His Resurrection/Ascension. These three are symbolized by “The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown.”
THE CRADLE, THE CROSS,
& THE CROWN
Lk. 2:6-7; Isa. 9:6
1. Q: What’s the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet? A: The Christmas alphabet has Noel.
2. Q: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? A: Claustrophobic.
3. Q: What do you call an obnoxious reindeer? RUDEolph.
4. Q: What nationality is Santa Claus? A: North Polish.
5. Q: What do you call a kid who doesn't believe in Santa? A rebel without a Claus.
6. Q: What do you call Santa's helpers? A: Subordinate clauses.
“While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor,’ ‘Mighty God,’ ‘Everlasting Father,’ ‘Prince of Peace.’” Lk. 2:6-7, NASB; Isa. 9:6, NIV.
1. Three great milestones mark the life of Jesus Christ: His Incarnation, His Sacrifice, and His Resurrection/Ascension.
2. These three are symbolized by “The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown.”
I. THE CRADLE SPEAKS OF HIS HUMBLE BIRTH
A. JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM
1. Imagine Mary (think of your wife or your daughter), She was nine months pregnant, at the very point of birth, swollen and aching all over.
2. She had to travel 70 miles – on a donkey’s back! It took at least three days. Up and down mountains and ravines; cold and hot; with bandits and wild animals all around. It was nothing like a comfortable car ride.
3. Then Mary's birth pains began. Joseph knocked on every door in town, but everywhere he went, there was a "no vacancy" sign up.
4. Joseph must have thought, "Could I have been mistaken? Did the angel really say this baby would be the "Son of God?" Where is God now?”
5. There was no antiseptic room, no comfortable bed; no incubator, no competent doctors and nurses -- only a cold, dark cave with some hay. What a disappointment; what a desperate situation!
6. When was the last time you heard of a donkey born in a palace, in the King’s bedroom? That’s preposterous! Kings are born in palaces; donkeys are born in stables. Yet God allowed His Son – the King of Kings – to be born in a lowly stable.
7. Why? Because He wanted everyone to know they could come to the Savior. The Poor of the World would feel unworthy to enter a palace, but all would feel welcome in a barn!
B. WHO WAS THIS CHILD?
1. Though humble at birth, this Child was the Architect of the universe and He fashioned the sun and heated it to 35,000,000°F to govern the day, and molded a cold, shining ball 2,160 miles in diameter to govern the night.
2. He also made the stars -- 100 billion of them in the Milky Way and hundreds of billions more in 100 million other galaxies. JESUS! He spoke six sextillion, 588 quintillion short-tons of elements into existence and called it Earth. Then He set its footing and "laid its cornerstone -- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy" (Job 38:6-7).
3. He shut up 132,000,000 square miles of seas behind their doors. He entered the storehouses of the snow and hail and went to the places where lightning is dispersed and the East winds are scattered over the Earth.
4. Then one day this Almighty God compressed Himself down to a divine cell and fused it with the ovum of a Jewish teenager. Again and again the God-cells divided and the holy fetus grew. [Dan Betzer]
5. At last the moment of truth came and the Holy Child was born, to the singing of thousands of joyful Angels.
6. And they called his name, "Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."
II. THE CROSS SPEAKS OF HIS VICTORIOUS DEATH
A. METHOD OF HIS VICTORY OVER SIN
1. Jesus was born with the shadow of the cross upon Him. With the shadow of the Cross upon His heart He learned to walk, He learned to talk, He learned to work. The shadow of the Cross was over Bethlehem’s stable, the Nazareth carpenter shop, over the Upper Room, & the Garden of Gethsemane.
2. The Cross was the cruelest instrument of death known to man. It symbolized man’s depravity and inhumanity to his fellow-man. Suspended between heaven and earth, the victim of the Cross waited helplessly for death.
3. There was only one way to come down from the cross – by the hands of grave-diggers. When the nails were driven into the hands and feet, it was as though the icy hands of death had clutched its victim, and the life was slowly, excruciatingly drained.