In the beginning of mankind, Adam gave in to temptation. It threw humanity into a state of unrighteousness. But Jesus came to change that! To do so, He began His journey like all of us—as a human child. Through His birth, death, and resurrection, He restored our righteousness. We can all be brought to a place of abundant life if we accept Christ as our Savior. The baby we see at Christmastime is much more than part of a nativity scene. He is the Redeemer of mankind!
The first recorded scene of Christ on the earth opens in a stable. A feeding trough for the livestock has a surprising addition: a baby boy! This lowly manger became the cradle for the King of kings and the Lord of lords. God’s Son took the form of a human being. In this place, Emmanuel (meaning “God with us”) identified with us. God came to earth to live as a human to identify with humanity. The cradle is the place where the Son of God became one of us!
That’s only the beginning of the story. This baby in a manger was destined to live a life of sacrifice. Jesus didn’t come to grow old on the earth. He came only long enough to face what we endure and overcome it. He came to die on a cross—for us. Jesus Christ came to take our place in judgment so humanity could be free from sin and the tyrannical rule of Satan. The cross is the place of substitution where Christ received what should have happened to us!
But that’s still not the end of the story. The tiny baby born in a stable was foreordained to be exalted. He would be crowned with honor and authority. He would be given a Name above all names: Jesus. Every knee will bow in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth. Seated at the right hand of God, Jesus not only rules and reigns—we do too! The crown bestows the benefits of God’s Kingdom to all who are saved and raised up with Christ.
Ephesians 2:4–7 (NIV)
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
The entire story is that we spiritually sit in heavenly places with Jesus—right now. We exist in two realms at the same time! We have been redeemed by the Christ child in the manger who was crowned the King of Glory. Jesus offers us Heaven while we live on the earth: redemption, life, liberty, prosperity, healing, and all the good things God wanted mankind to have.
The Rest of the Story
This story doesn’t end. It continues today with you and me. Have you rejoiced in the baby in the manger? Have you accepted the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross? Are you enjoying the benefits of His crown?
May the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. May the eyes of your understanding be enlightened. Don’t let this Christmas season pass without experiencing and rejoicing in everything Jesus offers to you through a cradle, the cross, and now His crown!
The Baby Is Only the Beginning
“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’
“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”
—Luke 2:1–20 (NKJV)
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If not, we have a prayer on page 10 you can pray right now! Or visit rhema.org/salvation to pray and share your testimony.
Kenneth W. Hagin
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