My dear readers:
What I'm asking you to consider doing today connects the baby in the manger with the Savior on the cross in a vivid, stirring way for me. I'm asking you to consider making another mark in your Bible. And, like the clock from yesterday's post, this marking comes from Kay Arthur's study method. (These are the only two of that study method I consistently use.)
I'm suggesting a red cross.
Every time you see "Jesus", a pronoun referencing him, or a word referencing him (in this chapter, "child," "baby"), lightly put a red cross directly over and through that word.
That stops me even as I type it.
Every time I see the word "child" or "baby" in this chapter, I'm to draw a cross over it? That doesn't go with our image of a newborn baby. We don't think about death when we are gazing into the chubby face of a newborn. That was certainly the farthest thing from my mind when I held our Luke for the first time.
But the perfect baby we are reading about and whose birth we joyfully celebrate here at Christmas was born to die.
For us, that is good news. That is the gospel. We sinners need a Savior. God became one of us, was the perfect one of us, and was sacrificed for us.
This is the crux of life.
When I open my Bible, and I see red crosses sprinkled across the page, I'm reminded of this truth: Jesus came not to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive.
That took a cross. And the God-man, who was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.