Don't leave the Baby in the manger or the Man on the cross
When Christmas comes around, everyone loves the thought of the baby in the manger. The story is so precious, and the swaddling cloths, and the animals milling around, and the Shepherds who came to see...
But not cute.
This Grace To You essay brings the point home.
What do you think about when you see a nativity scene? We might recognize the baby in the manger as God in flesh. But seeing Christ as a helpless and vulnerable infant can delude us into thinking that the humility of the incarnation was not isolated to His physical form—that somehow, His deity was also diminished.
And it’s easy to read the birth narratives in the gospel accounts without gaining a full sense of Christ’s eternal glory and supremacy. Those attributes figure more prominently at the end of His earthly sojourn rather than the beginning.
Where can we see that glory and supremacy? Is it on the cross? The Man-God hung on that tree, he was perfect in every way yet absorbing all God's wrath for sin, separated from His eternal father for agonizing hours. He was the suffering servant, bleeding and wounded and humble, and scorned and rejected. He hung there...
But He is not still there.
We look to Jesus when we want to praise or seek comfort, and we often think of the cross. The cross is the symbol of death, new life, eternity. We respect the cross as the execution method of what Jesus suffered for us in obedience to the Father. The cross is everything to us, but it is not all.
Because Jesus rose.
So the bloody, unrecognizable fleshly Man is not still on the cross. He is in heaven, robed majestically, at the right hand of the Father, ministering as KING OF THE UNIVERSE!
12Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. (Revelation 1:12-16)
Don't leave the baby in the manger or the man upon the cross. When you think of Jesus daily, remember Him as He is now.