The Cradle, The Cross, And The Crown
There are three great symbols of Christmas: the cradle of the baby Jesus, the cross of the Lord Jesus, and the crown he wears as he sits at the right hand of the Father. All three are inextricably linked together and yet most of the time, we don't link them together.
Certainly we have thought about the cradle or the manger as a symbol of Christmas. We see the manger in a lot of places at this time of the year. But it is important to remember that the cradle led to a cross. The cradle was the beginning, but it was not the whole story. The Bible tells us that Mary and Joseph made the first bed of Jesus in a manger, but even that manger scene as they swaddled the baby Jesus tells the story of sacrifice.
Surrounding Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus were animals that were used as sacrifices in the temple. The hay around the manger had to be sacrificed, it had to die and it had to be cut as food that those animals could be fed and nourished. Everything spoke of sacrifice surrounding the birth of Jesus. Everything spoke of the fact that this unique, one of a kind baby was born for a purpose - he was born for a cross. But the reality is that the cross was not the end! He would die for the sins of the world but that would only lead to a crown because his death would ultimately give way to the resurrection to sit at the right hand of God the Father.
And we see it all in Isaiah 9:6-7.
700 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Isaiah predicted exactly HOW Jesus would come and the SIGNIFICANCE of his coming. Now think about that; 700 years before the actual event took place. That would be like having all the lights turned off in this room and a target set up here on the platform and your shooting a bullet or an arrow through the darkness and hitting the target dead center! If someone did that, we would call it a miracle and yet that is exactly what Isaiah did!
So I want to look at this with you f ...
There are 11207 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 2000 character sample of the full content.