When I think about Christmas, I always picture a manger. We should think about the reason that Jesus, the Son of God, came to this world as a baby. Without a doubt, His great love for us caused Him to step out of the heavens only to begin the trip to the cross.
So I felt we should also have a picture of Calvary when we think of Christmas. I like the message on a Christmas card I received. It says:
As the King, He had a different kind of birth...
He had a different kind of kingdom...
And He wore a different kind of crown
That is not your typical Christmas card, now is it? And then I think of the scripture,
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
The Living Water For The Soul devotional I recently received said that God sets the pattern of true love here, the basis for all love relationships -- if you love someone dearly, you are willing to pay dearly for that person's responsive love. God paid dearly with the life of his Son. Jesus accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and then offered us the new life he bought for us.
But what a sad picture to think about on one of the happiest days of the year. We do not want to picture our precious Lord on the cross, all bloody, torn, and dying. It is much easier to picture Him as the baby in the manger, all soft, warm, and cuddly.
Then I realized that we need to have hope and envision the completed cycle. The picture I would like to present to you is the one of the empty tomb. He rose from the grave and is no longer dead. He is very much alive. Better still, let's see Him standing at the throne of God, at the right hand of the Father. He is ever making intercession for us.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us (Romans 8:34).
The price has been paid for all our sins. The King of Glory is risen to His rightful place. Death could not keep Him down, the grave could not hold Him, and our wrong doings did not place such a weight as to destroy Him. But instead His love paid the price we could not pay, with a love we don't deserve.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen (1 Timothy 1:17).