A Baby, a Cross, and a Catharsis
Don’t we all love the prayer scene from Talladega Nights?
OK, maybe not all of us. But, I sure do. What strikes me is that today is the day when we all celebrate “sweet baby Jesus”. On Christmas Eve we watched a full slate of classic Christmas movies for kids and all of them dealt with skepticism regarding the existence of Santa. At the end of the day the point was always, “Christmas is about helping poor people” or some derivation.
In my head though this wasn’t ringing true. I am becoming more and more convinced that Advent and Christmas cannot be separated from the Cross. The Magi brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh, all important for middle eastern burials. Jesus was most likely born near Passover (that’s a discussion for another time) and he died at Passover.
The Lamb of God born at Passover, the Bread of Life born in the City of Bread.
What is Christmas about? It’s simple, it’s about a Cross and a Resurrection.
It had to start somewhere and it started in Bethlehem in a common cave used for the keeping of animals. To close I want to leave you an extended quote from Jonathan Edwards (this quote was taken from here):
What an amazing act of grace was it when Christ took upon our human nature. In this act of great condescension, he who was God became man. The Word should be made flesh, and should take on him a nature infinitely below his original nature. We should appreciate the remarkably low circumstances of his incarnation: He was conceived in the womb of a poor young woman, whose poverty appeared in this, when she came to offer sacrifices for her purification, she brought what was allowed of in the Law only in the case of poverty, a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.
Christ’s infinite condescension marvelously appeared in the manner of his birth. He was brought forth in a stable, because there was no room for them in the inn. The inn was taken up by others, that were looked upon as persons of greater account. The blessed Virgin, being poor and despised, was turned or shut out. Though she was in such need, yet those that counted themselves her better would not give place to them. Therefore, in her time of giving birth, she was forced to give birth to her son in a stable, and laid him in a feed trough.
There Christ lay a little infant, and there he eminently appeared as a lamb. But yet this feeble infant, born this way in a stable, and laid in a feed trough, was born to conquer and triumph over Satan, that roaring lion (cf. 1 Peter 5:8). Jesus came to subdue the mighty powers of darkness, and make a show of them openly, and so to restore peace on earth, and to manifest God’s good-will towards men, and to bring glory to God in the highest!