Cradle, Cross, and Crown
You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you will name Him
Jesus. . . . The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David
What do you consider to be a good
representation of Christmas? The potbellied
Santa Claus? The nativity scene complete
with baby, hay-filled manger, and donkeys? The iconic
Christmas tree? For Luke, Christmas was best represented
by a cradle, a cross, and a crown.
A cradle. The angel Gabriel told a confused young
virgin that she “[would] conceive and give birth to a
son” (Luke 1:31). This supernaturally conceived (vv.34-
35) baby would be Mary’s own flesh and blood.
Imagine, the all-powerful Creator in a cradle as a
helpless infant, a real baby with a belly button! Mary’s
boy child is the human (albeit sinless) son of Mary (v.31)
and the divine Son of God! (vv.32,35). This picture is
A cross. “You will name Him Jesus” (v.31). Jesus, the
Greek equivalent of Joshua, means “the Lord saves” or
simply “Savior.” The angel reiterated Jesus’ name in an
appearance to Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, and spoke of His
mission: “You are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His
people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus became our
Savior “when He was hung on the cross” (Galatians 3:13).
A crown. “The Lord God will give Him the throne of
His ancestor David” (Luke 1:32). Some 1,000 years
before, “God had promised . . . that one of David’s own
descendants would sit on his throne” (2 Samuel 7:11-13;
Acts 2:30). This baby would be born King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2). “And He
will reign forever; His Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:33).
Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and nativity scenes will be common sights this
month. But Jesus is the One we must seek and celebrate. Let’s bow before the
Son of God in the cradle, the Savior on the cross, and the King on the throne
Of these three pictures— the Son of God in the cradle, the Savior on the
cross, and the King on the throne—which one is most compelling and
meaningful to you this Christmas? How can you use the Christmas season
to tell others about Jesus?