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Summary: This sermon shows the three major phases of Christ’s ministry

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THE CRADLE, THE CROSS AND THE CROWN

Text: Philippians 2:5-11 W. Max Alderman

INTRODUCTION: This lesson and sermon will consider three phases of the ministry of Christ. We will look at him at His Cradle and then we will look at His Cross. We will conclude with a study involving His crown. May we have a fuller and more complete understanding of the workings of God…

I. THE CRADLE emphasizes the Lord’s humanity

Luke 2:7 not only points to the humanity of Christ, but also to the humbleness of Christ, beginning at His birth. “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

The cow stall manger or crib was for the animals more than it was a birthing station. Yet with there being no room in the inn He was born amongst the animals that He created. The God of creation chose to emphasize the Lord’s birth as being a most humble birth. This clarifies the meaning of the sacred Words that says, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

A. The cradle was a place that was prophesied. ("Behold a virgin shall conceive...")

More than the cradle was prophesied, the CHRIST was prophesied. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

The birth of Christ was unique in that it was a virgin conception… No man was involved. In theory a virgin can conceive a child through artificial insemination, but the seed must come from a man. With Christ’s birth, the Holy Ghost came upon her, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

B. The cradle was a place that was precious.

To every born again believer the birth of Jesus is very precious, thus was the songwriter inspired to write the lovely words, “For He is so precious to me…”

C. The cradle was a place that was predictive. (Swaddling clothes predicted His crucifixion)

The swaddling clothes were not only birth clothes, but they were also death clothes. The cloth bands were used to wrap the corpse in preparation for burial. The swaddling clothes were also used to strap someone down who could not control his movements. When Jesus was born, His own garments at birth were already predicting His death upon the cross.

II. THE CROSS emphasizes the Lord’s identity

Our Text says that Christ was “found in fashion as a man” and “was made in the likeness of men” These are strong expressions that show just how strongly the Lord identified with the family of Adam, or mankind beginning at His birth. Notice the definition of the word fashion as Strong’s gives it to us: as comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses, the figure, bearing, discourse, actions, manner of life etc.

This identification continued up until His death and buriel.

A. The cross was a place of suffering

Throughout the Scriptures, The agony of the cross is given. In Isaiah 53:4,5 the Scriptures tell us, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Christ suffered for you and me.

B. The cross was a place of sacrificing

Hebrews 9:26 says, “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” The word sacrifice is a word that is deeply embedded throughout the entire word of God. It is a word that goes back to the first sacrifice, when Abel offered his Lamb, or even before that, when God killed an animal to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. Throughout the Old Testament and especially as it pertained to the law, there were countless sacrifices made and you must know that they all pointed to the ultimate sacrifice that was made upon the cross, when the Lamb of God sacrificed Himself!

C. The cross was a place of salvation

In Colossians 2:19,20 “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

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