From the Manger to the Cross

The road to the cross led through a stable in Bethlehem

With the Christmas season upon us, many are stressing over the final gift ideas.  Many are feeling the strain of the family coming to town, or trying to prepare for the trip to visit with family and friends; and many are too busy to see the real reason for the Christmas season.

It started with a woman – a virgin; pure, blameless, favored by God.  It had to be this way…it was what God told the world would happen.

3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.  And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. 5 And he will be their peace.”

— Micah 5:3-5 (NIV)

Israel had fallen away, it had become their custom…and God was tired of it.  But, He did promise redemption…in the form of a baby – His Son!

God made the promise to save Israel, and His promise carries resoundingly into today.  God sent His only Son.  A Child, who would become a man, shows us the right way to live, and then…this Child, the one we celebrate, gave up His life to save the world.  Jesus came to the earth with a purpose, to die for the world.

“For God did not send His Son into the World to Condemn the World, but that the World, through Him, might be saved.”

— John 3:17

It was all in the plan…a virgin, a carpenter, a star, a small town named Bethlehem…and a baby.  Christmas is about His birth, but we can’t remember His birth without remembering the reason He came.  This Christmas, remember the path to the cross went through the stable in Bethlehem.

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15 responses to “From the Manger to the Cross

  1. Hi

    This a fantastic picture of the purpose of the life od CHRIST. I AM ABOUT TO PRODUCE A `CHRISTMAS card for a church preparing for Alpha. Where can I get the rights to use this image .

    Bd

  2. I think this image is right on. It has so much power in combining God’s great love in Christ’s birth and death. Would it be possible to use it to project at worship?

  3. I was looking for a CHRISTmas desktop and came across this. I love it! I hope when I have visitors this CHRISTmas they will see this and hopefully it will get a conversation about the real meaning of CHRISTmas. Thank you for publishing it.

  4. I, too, would like to use this most beautiful photo in our parish bulletin — and perhaps with personal Christmas cards. Is that permitted?

      • A little confession… I am a Christian musician, and I ‘borrowed’ this image last year to use as cover art for 2 songs. The picture is beautiful and ties in very well with a song that travels from a Silent Night at the manger to the Silent Night at the cross. The songs are currently only available through free streaming, but I am considering releasing them as singles or an EP for sale. I appreciate that you have no problem with anyone using the image but thought it best to ask before I get too far down the road.

  5. Pingback: The Christmas Story

  6. I would like to have a big print made so it could be matted and framed. Is there any way of getting a good quality image?

  7. Hi, Phillip! I have been charged with putting together a drive-through nativity at my church for 2015. I wanted the message to be more than just a story about a miraculous birth – I wanted to tell the purpose – the cross and the empty tomb. We have decided to call it “Bethlehem and Beyond.” This afternoon I went looking for a picture that would portray that message and I found you. I see from prior post you are willing to share and I will certainly give credit where credit is due. Would you email me your file copy to work with? It would be most appreciated!
    Serving at His pleasure,
    Monica Kirby
    Longview Heights Baptist Church
    Olive Branch, MS
    662.895.1900
    mkirby@lhbc.me

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