Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Manger and the Cross

Luke 2:7
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

I've had the manger on my mind a lot lately....not just as it relates to the nativity scenes and pretty pictures on Christmas cards...but, the actual manger itself....and my prayer partner and I have been doing a Bible study about the cross...which, by the way is totally AMAZING!!!
So....if you know me very know that my mind tends to wander in lots of different directions....but what I got to thinking about when I thought about the manger....was how there are so many connections between it and the cross. Here are a few I came up with:

  • They were both made out of wood. Then I thought about the fact that Joseph, Jesus' earthly Daddy, was a carpenter. So, I'm sure that as Jesus grew up, he helped Joseph make things and worked and played with the wood. Some people would say "how ironic"....nope....God isn't an ironic God...He's God...He knew what He was doing. Isn't it actually brings tears to my eyes...that the lowly manger that our precious Savior was laid in when He was a stinky, nasty stable....was made out of wood!!! Joseph, being a carpenter, had probably built mangers himself. Then....the cruel cross where Jesus died....was made of wood, too. If you do a study on crucifixion, you'll find that it was the worst way to put someone to death. It was not only terribly was degrading, usually a death that was saved for the worst of criminals.
  • I thought about she was at both events and what a totally different set of emotions she felt. As a mother, I know she would have preferred to have given birth to her Son someplace besides a cold, dirty stable full of animals. But, can't you just imagine, after He was born, she could have cared less where she was at. All that was on her mind was her baby and keeping Him warm and the love she felt for Him. Jesus needed her to nurture Him and care for Him and love Him as a baby and a child. So...while on the cross....He made sure that John would do the same for her. Oh, what an amazing Savior...that others would be on His mind as He was dying!!!
  • Swaddling clothes - the big thing these days is to swaddle your baby. Well, it's nothing new because Mary did the same for Baby Jesus. They were actually strips of cloth used to swaddle, or wrap the baby tightly, to make Him feel secure and warm. I know Jess did the same with both of the boys and they loved it. But, the swaddling cloth reminds me of the burial cloths. Jesus was swaddled by His mother, Mary when He was born....then, he was wrapped in burial cloth when He Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:59)....see the comparison even there...a Joseph was at His birth...and another at His death!!! Oh, what an amazing God we serve!!!

  • The shepherds - when Jesus was born, they were the first to visit Him. Now, this story has always excited me...because...being a shepherd is a very nasty, dirty, stinky job. Just think about're with animals all the time, day in, day out, and that smell is going to rub off on you. So, being a shepherd was the least glamorous of all jobs...but...those lowly shepherds were the first to get to see the precious face of Baby Jesus. And...I love the verse where it says "with haste" (Luke 2:16)...they didn't wait...they hurried to see Jesus. Oh, that thrills my soul. Just yesterday, I was talking to Jess about how sometimes it's so much harder for an older person to get saved because they make up lots of excuses and say they have to quit doing this, or that, before they think God will accept them. OH, how wrong!!! God chose the lowly, stinky shepherds to go and worship His Son....and they didn't hesitate, or put it off...they did it right then. They didn't wait until they took a bath and cleaned themselves up and changed themselves into something else!! WOW!!!
  • The wise men who came to visit Jesus brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. These were things of value given to the King of Kings. When Jesus died, Nicodemus (remember, he came to Jesus by night) he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes to anoint the body of Jesus (John 19:39). What was presented to Him as a gift at His birth was used to anoint His body at His death.

Now...I'm sure there are lots of other comparisons that I'm just not thinking of right now....but God has thrilled my heart to do this little study and make these connections between the manger and the cross.

My that each of us will be like the shepherds....and that we will run "with haste" to the foot of the cross and take whatever it is that is standing between us and our Precious Savior...and give it to Him.
Let's make this Christmas season the best we've ever had by not letting anything stand between us and our Jesus!!!

In His Love...and with mine!!!


  1. God gave you a lot to share today!! Good job!

  2. Thank you for the "Amazing Grace" that you have shown to me over the past 49 years.

    I love you...

    (Now I am crying)

    Your Brother...

  3. wonderful comparison!!!

    love you.

  4. I love to hear this story!!!!!!!
    & you told it beautifully!!
    (as always)
    love you!


Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
Proverbs 16:24