The Cradle that led to the Cross


God chose Mary for what could arguably be, the most important
job in history – bringing our Savior Jesus Christ into the world.
She was the perfect, unlikely choice, which made her story even more remarkable. She was humble and obedient to God as she “treasured up all of these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

I wonder in my mind, did she know the importance that her baby would have?

I love the song, “Mary did you know?”

“Did you know that your baby boy would someday walk on water, that he has come to make us new, that he would give sight to the blind, that he would calm a storm with his hand? Did you know that your baby boy would be Lord of all creation?”

Did she know? Did her mind even go there? After Gabriel told her the news…. Without hesitation, Mary answered in Luke 1:38, “I am the Lord`s servant. May it be to me as you have said. ‘

She was a mother. She was in touch with God and kept her focus on Him. She wiped runny noses, she did dishes, cleaned their home, fetched water, all the while in the midst of our Savior.  She felt the same feelings as any mother would. She worried when he was late coming home. Her heart must have broken when he was mocked and called names.  It was a hard thing for her to watch but she surrendered it all, just as she did from the beginning.

As Christmas comes,  many think of business profits, shopping, gifts, tinsel, toys, and celebration. Others think of Bethlehem and the birth of baby Jesus. Others wonder, where this Prince of Peace is in a world filled with so much trouble.

The real Christmas message goes far deeper. It can be summed up in three words: a cradle, a cross and a crown.

First, the cradle. On that first Christmas night, the Bible tells us about the angel coming to the fearful shepherds and saying, “Fear not, I bring you good news” ( Luke 2:10).

What a difference the baby born in Bethlehem’s manger 2,000 years ago makes to our world today. The whole world was thinking of Caesar and Rome. But in God’s eternal plan, He was thinking of a baby in a manger in the little tiny town of Bethlehem.

Second, there’s the cross. Christmas, to have meaning, cannot be separated from the cross. The angel said at the birth of Jesus, “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus Himself said, speaking just before His death, “For this cause was I born” (John 18:37). He was the only person in history who was born with the purpose of dying. The Apostle Paul, years later said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).

“The preaching of the cross is nonsense to those who are involved in this dying world, but to us who are being saved from that death, it is nothing less than the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18, Phillips).

Third, there’s the crown. Chiseled into the cornerstone of the United Nations building is a quotation from the Bible that has never yet been fulfilled. It reads, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4). This is a thrilling thought. It has often been repeated by those who long for peace. However, this quotation must not be taken out of context. This is the time when He who came as the baby of Bethlehem shall come back as King of kings and Lord of lords.

From the cradle He grew in strength and His Divine manhood until the moment He surrendered it on the cross. At the cradle, He was in the stall of an animal. At the cross, He wore a crown of thorns.

When He comes again, it will be as Commander in Chief of the armies of Heaven. He will take control of this war-weary world and bring the peace that we strive for and long for. A new world will be formed, a new social order will emerge. Sin will be eliminated. Tears will be wiped from every eye. Disease shall be no more, and even death will be eliminated from the human scene. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and war shall be no more.

This is God’s gift of Christmas: the cradle-His Son; the Cross-His life; the crown-His coming kingdom.



Christmas is not just a date on the calendar… it is a way of life that celebrates the presence of God in the simple, ordinary happenings of daily life… where we go, what we do, the smile we give a stranger. Patience we choose in the crowds, the love that prompts a secret gift, the heart that constantly celebrates His birth through every wrapped gift…. God is with us every day, not just Christmas… if we choose. I wonder what the Inn Keeper thought as he turned away the young man and very pregnant wife that holy night so long ago. He had no room….. it was that simple. Do we? Have we made room for Jesus?

That first Christmas was sacred and holy, filled with worship and wonder. It was all about  Baby Jesus. He was the gift in the manger that night that led to the cross.