Monday, December 25, 2017

Connecting The Cradle At Bethlehem To The Cross At Calvary - A Christmas Meditation

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Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”


Merry Christmas to all who have decided to visit this site today. In today's post, the aim is to draw as many parallels as possible between the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke to the crucifixion account of the Lord Jesus Christ.  John 18, 19 and 20 will be our main text for the crucifixion account, with connecting points being drawn from Matthew and Luke.  Below I will list some main headings and associated verses to aid you, the reader, in connecting the Christmas event of the cradle at Bethlehem to the Mission of the Savior at the cross. 

1. The Shepherds told about the Savior born, who would die for the people

Luke 2:11 "for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

John 18:14 "Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people."

What links these two passages together is the fact we see Jesus, our Good Shepherd. 

2. He was Born and Died "The King of the Jews." 

Matthew 2:2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

John 19:19 "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS."

What links these two passages together is the fact we see Jesus our True King.

3. The Roman Empire was included in His birth and death.

Luke 2:1 "Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth."

John 19:23 "Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout."

What links these two passages together is the fact we see Jesus the Ultimate Ruler. 

4. The Prediction of Mary's agony at His death spoken after his birth

Luke 2:35 "and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many  hearts may be revealed.”

John 19:26-27 "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."

What links these two passages together is the fact we see Jesus the Obedient Son.

5. The presence of myrrh in the accounts of His birth and death

Luke 2:11 "After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

John 19:39 "And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight."

What links these two passages together is the fact we see Jesus the Satisfaction of wrath.

6. Angels were present at His birth and resurrection

Luke 2:13-14 "And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host  praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

John 20:12-14 "and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you  weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. "

What links these two passages together is the fact we see Jesus the Victorious Savior.

Closing Thoughts

When one considers the linkage between the manger and the cross, the lines of connection are extraordinary. It was said once that the shadow of Calvary ever fell on the cradle in Bethlehem. In the midst of this Christmas Day celebration, let us not ever separate the cradle and the cross. We noted the following six truths about Jesus in today's post:

1. Jesus, our Good Shepherd
2. Jesus, our True King
3. Jesus, our Ultimate Ruler
4. Jesus, the Obedient Son
5. Jesus, the Satisfaction of Wrath
6. Jesus, the Victorious Savior 

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