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  • Writer's pictureBy Pastor Andy Plank

You can't separate the cradle from the cross

December 8, 2019

It is popping up everywhere. It is in storefronts, church yards and front yards. Right up there with Santa, Rudolph and Frosty, it is a common sight this time of year. Do you know what IT is? The nativity scene of course! Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus in the manger are in this well-known, oft copied Christmas scene. Scattered around are donkeys, lambs, and a camel or two. A bright star shines in the top corner. While this gentle Baby Jesus is the Jesus most people associate with Christmas, the "manger scene" is merely the beginning place to examine the significance of the event we know as "Christmas". The most significant thing about the "Christmas" side of Jesus' life on this earth can be summed up in John 1:14. "The Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us". The most significant event of Christmas is the fact that God came. To earth. To us. To live with us. God could have just let the earth spin itself right off of its axis. God could have let man go on about man's business, continually drifting farther and farther away from Him. However instead of letting man go on about man's business, God decided it was time to get on with His business. God decided it was time to come and do for man what man could not do for himself. God decided to fix the mess man created (and continues to create). The angels brought "good news" to the shepherds that night just outside Bethlehem two thousand something years ago. But the fulfillment of that good news is not found in a manger. Truth is, the real good news didn't lie in a manger, it hung on a cross thirty years later. Baby Jesus in the cradle is cute. Bloody Jesus on the cross is gross, gory and oh so life-saving. God came to live with us. God came to die for us. Jesus was born. Then Jesus died a cruel undeserved death to become our scapegoat so that we might stand before a Holy God sinless as a result of His bloody sacrifice. Then, three days later, Jesus arose again, to live forever. Because he did, we can too and that my friend is the "good news" of the gospel. Have a Merry Christmas. Enjoy the nativity scenes as you see them around town. But never, ever separate the cradle from the cross. They are connected in a life-giving chain that began in the mind of God before creation and put into motion when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Be blessed and be a blessing…Bro. Andy

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