To The CrossDavid Waltershttp://www.slideshare.net/Gospelman/from-the-cradle-to-the-cross
Luke 22:7 NETThen the day for the feast of Unleavened Bread came, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us to eat." 9They said to him, "Where do you want us to prepare it?" 10He said to them, "Listen, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters,
11and tell the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?" ' 12Then he will show you a large furnished room upstairs. Make preparations there." 13So they went and found things just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
14Now when the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table and the apostles joined him. 15And he said to them,"I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." 17Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves.
18For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 19Then he took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. 20And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood."
I remember a children’s story of THREE trees, and how they would be used of God. 1. The first became the manger that Jesus used at His birth. 2. The second became the cross beam of Calvary, used by Jesus at His death. 3. The third became the first Christmas tree, where we each year remember Jesus. See each tells its own story of being used, like you and me.
CHRISTMAS PAST, THE CRADLE The beginning of Christmas, remember the Lord’s death. Hebrews 10:5 NETSo when he came into the world, he said,"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me. (Psalm 40:6-7)
The Christmas Gift has two sides, God's gift to us, and our gift to Him: He gives us of Himself and we give ourselves to Him. Immanuel, “God with us.” or “With us is God,” This is the Christmas message!
God manifest in the flesh, God and man, similar though not identical, He is all together man, & He is all together God, sharing a common life in the fellowship of Love. Jesus was God’s gift for our redemption. Made possible by His birth.
His death was made meaningful by His life. He was born to die, that we might live! This death was made immense by His resurrection! He conquered death, hell, and the grave, and so His gift continues giving to us eternally!
Each Christmas, we are reminded, Christ was “born to die.” Lying in the cradle, within a stable, is the first gift of Christmas, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Over the next 30 odd years much will happen, leading from the cradle to the cross.
Christmas should be a time of remembrance of the difference Christ has made in the, past, present, and future. And we do not need some CHRISTMAS CAROL ghost to guide us, only God’s Word and His Holy Spirit, so that we may remember.
Isaiah 9:6 NETFor a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
CHRISTMAS PRESENT, THE CROSS The ultimate goal of Christmas, remember the Lord’s steps (and walk in them). John 13:15 NETFor I have given you an example — you should do just as I have done for you. Paul Reminds the Church at Corinth of this. 1 Corinthians 11:1 NET Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
Jesus begs us to learn from Him so that He can give us what we long for. Matthew 11:28 NET Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.“
A yoke is a wooden bar or frame that joins two animals like oxen or horses so that they can pull a wagon, plow, etc. together. Here it is used figuratively of the restrictions that a teacher or rabbi would place on his followers. (NET notes) I will give you rest, I am gentle and humble, you will find rest for your souls,For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry. Following Jesus is in our best interest.
1 Peter 2:21 NET For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. Jesus showed mankind the eternal nature of God; because He so fully understood God, He was so fully able to reveal Him, and to bring man into fellowship with Him, and thus giving us eternal life.
He could not have done this, if, He had not also entered so deeply into fellowship with man as to share in all man's sufferings and sorrows and sins, finally bearing them in His own body on the tree, even to the point of feeling himself forsaken of God. But wait! Jesus didn’t share in sin! He never sinned so why would I say He shared in sin?
Why did Christ cry out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Because, at that time the sins of all mankind were upon Him, and due to their iniquities and transgressions, He was wounded; He was to bear them, and to be an offering for them, as He was man, but death did not master Him, He was God.
And so in that He died for all men, and tasted death for every man, He was the offering for all the sins of the whole world. Before we finish considering Christmas Present, have you considered your Christmas Present to the One whose birthday it is all about?
Make sure He gets the best, make sure and spend the most. Give yourself fully to God your saviour. Luke 2:12 NETThis will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger."
CHRISTMAS FUTURE, THE CROWN The glorious climax of Christmas, remember His soon return. 1 Corinthians 11:26 NET For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
Did three words ever tell more “until he comes.”? Jesus spoke of His second coming and His Heavenly kingdom. He who came into the world will take us out of the world! The Last Supper was not really the last! For the next supper is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and the table is already being set!
Revelation 19:7 NETLet us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen" (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints). 9Then the angel said to me, "Write the following:
Blessed are those who are invited to the banquet at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!" He also said to me, "These are the true words of God." 10So I threw myself down at his feet to worship him, but he said, "Do not do this! I am only a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
Here we stand before the supreme mystery. Bethlehem and Calvary are fundamentally connected; the Cradle involves the Cross, & the Cross illumines the Cradle. This is the heart of the Christmas experience and the Christmas message.
The stable is where it all started, He who was born to die, but does not stop there, He died that we might live, and He rose to make it possible! Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away, rising He justified, freely forever, and one day He’s coming, Oh glorious day!