When discussing Christmas with family or friends, I get a variety of
responses when I say these words: No cross, no cradle. Some reply with a
puzzled look, others have laughed saying the opposite is true. Every once
in a while, someone will nod. They know exactly what I’m talking about.
God became a real human and walked among us, but He didn’t choose to
descend from atop a lofty mountain or emerge all muscled and powerful out
of the sea. No, Jesus chose to take the route we’ve all taken in order
to inhabit the earth. He came as a baby. He had a mom, an earthly dad (or
stepdad, depending how you look at it), and a heavenly Father. If it had
all stopped there, we might never have known a single thing about Him.
How wonderful it must have been to hear Jesus speak, watch Him heal, and
listen to His prayers. He challenged the ruling and religious authorities,
but He was also able to speak aid and comfort to the downtrodden and
forsaken. The people must have thought He could be the promised warrior
But then came the cross.
In Mark 8:31, Jesus began telling a different tale, one that included His
suffering, rejection, and death. What was this? Not at all what the
disciples or the people wanted to hear. But as each of the four Gospels
(Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) tells Jesus’s story, we get to an
undeniable tRuth This wonderful, healing, gracious man was going to die.
Believers know the reason Jesus had to die: to become the real Savior. A
temporary ruler, a great president or general, would have come and gone
like so many others before them. But Jesus? He died so that we could have
eternal life. He saved us by rising from the dead.
If Jesus had not done that, His manger-cradle that we celebrate at
Christmas would have no significance. No cross, no cradle. Susan Sundwall
What part of Jesus’s life and continued work gives you the most hope? How
could you celebrate the gospel this Christmas and beyond?
If you want to learn more about the good news (gospel) of Jesus, see our
“Know Jesus” page.
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom
his favor rests. Luke 2:14 (NIV)