Summary: The earthly ministry of Jesus Christ can be divided into 3 stages; namely the Cradle, the Cross and the Crown.
TEXT: Philippians 2:5-11 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
INTRO: R. G. Lee, that great Baptist preacher once wrote: “There never was another Who caused all creation to be ransacked in pursuit of words appropriate to convey to human hearts and minds His glorious pre-eminence. There never was another Who was a human child and also a divine Son; Who was wounded by Satan and Who, at the same time crushed Satan; Who was appointed the Savior of men, yet was crucified by men; Who was Judge of men; yet was led as a felon from one tribunal to another.
There never was another Who died and was buried and yet lived; Who saved others and Himself could not save; Who had no sin in Him, yet all sin on Him; Who was the King of Glory, yet wore no crown but a crown of thorns; Who, in the glory He had with God before the world was, had the angelic hails of heaven and yet, on earth, gave Himself to the murderous nails of men!
There never was another Who was the Prince of life, yet died on Calvary; Who was as old as His heavenly Father and ages older than His earthly mother.
There never was another Who was the victim of a Roman cross and victor at a Jewish grave.
There never was another Who poured all seas, all lakes, all rivers out of the crystal chalices of eternity, yet on a cross said with a mouth hot like a parched desert that cries for rain, ‘I thirst’”.
All of this was written to describe the Lord Jesus Christ. And our text tells us that God has given Him a name far above every name. We speak today of the Righteous, Risen, Reigning Christ!
The earthly ministry of Jesus Christ can be divided into 3 stages. I will speak of this life this morning in a message entitled, "The Cradle, The Cross and The Crown"!!
I. The Cradle.
Jesus Christ was born in a humble manger to common parents. Common, that is by human standards. While the birth of a child would normally be cause for great rejoicing, the joy this birth would bring is to be short lived. For you see, this child was born to die! I can see this little Baby, lying "Away in A Manger". I can almost hear Him coo; I can almost see Him jerk His arms about with the erratic movements. His soft baby skin. Here lies, in a manger, "Immanuel" - God with us. Here He lays -- God’s great gift to mankind; Here He lays -- the perfect Sacrificial Lamb; Here He lays -- the Propitiation for our sin; Here He lays -- a baby born to die!
"But why", the observer might ask "must was this baby born to die?" The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3 "Christ died for our sins ...." There’s the answer --- OUR SINS. Sin, so like a river, beginning in a quiet spring, ending in a tumultuous sea; Sin - the power that reversed man’s nature, and destroyed the harmony of his powers. Sin -- the aggregation of all evils. These 3 little letters can sum up the need for the cradle: SIN!
And in the midst of the sin of the world is plunged a perfect propitiation in the form of this Baby called Jesus! A star shone brightly on the night of Christ’s birth, but if we look closely, we can see a Cross looming in the shadows!
II. The Cross.
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 upon:
1. The Bethlehem swaddling clothes.
2. The walls of the Nazareth carpenter shop.
3. Gethsemane’s garden.
4. Him Him when they came with lanterns and torches to arrest the light of the world.
5. Him when Judas betrayed Him with a kiss
6. Him when Caiaphas condemned Him