12/19/07

Three C’s at Christmas

I have a huge lighted Nativity display in my front yard. The neighbors all see it as they dead-end from one street into the cross street at my front yard. It is a clear testimony to our neighborhood that we believe in Jesus, and many neighbors and strangers have stopped by to comment that the scene is special to them, too.

But I’ve often thought that another scene would be an even better representation of the Christ of Christmas. Christmas is really only the first chapter in the three-chapter story of Christ’s life. The first chapter is God’s birth announcement to the world, represented by a cradle. When we celebrate Christmas, we shout to the world: “It’s a boy! It’s God’s own Son!” This is what we normally see at Christmas—baby Jesus in the manger (Luke 2:16).

The second chapter is Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of the world, represented by a cross. We normally see the cross on Good Friday and Easter, but the seeds of that cross are found in the Nativity cradle. I Timothy 1:15 says, “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners….” The cross was the purpose of the cradle. The third chapter is the risen and returning King of Kings. He is the conquering sovereign, represented by a crown (Hebrews 2:7, 9).

If I created that scene on my front lawn—a lowly “Silent Night” cradle in blue lights, rising to a simple cross in red lights, and ending up high with a brilliant golden crown—can you imagine the questions I’d get? But imagine, too, the opportunities to share the full truth about Christ, including the amazing Gospel of grace (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

I’ll probably never create that display, but I plan to share the story of the three “C’s” this Christmas. I hope you will, too.

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