Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thinking on Christmas from the Cradle to the Cross

Matthew 1:21-22 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

Yesterday we began considering the whole Bible in light of Christ's first coming, and traced God's redemptive plan from Genesis to Malachi.  We ended at the cradle and today, we will journey from the cradle to the cross.

Seeing Christ in the Gospels
The cradle of Bethlehem is spoken of in Matthew and Luke's Gospel and the cross of calvary is spoken of in all four Gospels: Matthew, Mark Luke and John.  In these four books we see Christ portrayed.  We come to understand God the Son coming from eternity into time to live a perfect life, die a sinless death and raise to victory over death, hell and the grave. 

In Matthew we see Christ our King.  he is King as it touches His lineage back to King David in the Old Testament and He is King as it touches His Eternal pre-existence as God the Son.  He is the King who came, taught, healed and was rejected by His own people.

Mark shows us Christ the suffering servant.  He came to die and give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45).  Though Mark does not gives us the early life of Christ, yet it focuses our attention as to why he was born - to die.

Luke portrays Christ as the Son of Man, full and complete humanity.  He is the Master who calls his disciples to die to themselves and live for Him.  Luke the physcian, the great doctor who penned this gospel, points us to the Great Physician Jesus Christ.  Luke begins His Gospel with the early life of Christ: His birth, His presentation at the temple and the shepherds.  We see 72 names listed in Christ's geneaology - stretching from Adam to Christ. 

John, the beloved Disciple, pens for us the glory of Christ as God in human flesh.  In John's record we see emphasis upon Christ's undiminished Deity and perfect humanity.  We see John's fondness for the number seven in telling us His version of Jesus' life: seven signs or miracles and seven times where Jesus identifies Himself as "I am".

What Christmas is all about
Now all four of these Gospels take us to the cross, then the empty tomb and then His ascension.  When you put them all together, you have a complete picture: the babe in Bethlehem would be the Savior on the cross.  The Savior on the cross would rise again, demonstrating Himself to be the God of glory.  This is what Christmas is all about.

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