Rest Little One
The angels keep their ancient ways
The Spirit waits to set hearts ablaze
To guard the midnight sky
A baby wakes to Mary’s lullaby
Christ the Lord — rest little one
Soon the cross is to be won
While the Father watches over thee
From a manger’s cradle to Calvary
The Cradle, the Cross and the Crown
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:5-11
The deception of sin had reached its height. The Father looked down upon the world and saw the suffering and misery it had caused. With pity, His heart was moved with compassion as the heavenly Creator looked upon lost humanity. Mankind, bewildered and deceived, was moving on in a gloomy procession toward eternal ruin – to a death in which was no hope. His answer came in the heavenly form of a Cradle, a Cross and a Crown.
There never was another who was sent from the Father as a Redeemer of lost humanity. There was never another who was sent from God to reconcile us to Himself, and snatch us out of the miry clay of sinfulness and despair. There never was another spotless, sinless and perfect One in life and deed who could stand in the gap for all of humanity as God’s perfect Lamb and become the substitute for our sins on the cross. There was never a God child that would spend time in a Cradle, on a Cross and wear a Crown.
The Cradle – The cradle is the Zenith of love. Jesus was born in a human manger to common parents by human standards. He was the only child born to die in human history. Why? Our sins sum up the reason for a cradle, our having gone astray sums up the reason for the cross, and our ultimate destiny sums up the reason for the crown. The cradle is the Genesis of Christianity. It links Him to us in our humanity. The cradle in a lowly manger links Christ to those who live in the most deplorable of conditions – to poverty, to lack and need. He was born poor, yet rich. He was born in a cradle, yet owned the cattle on a thousand hills. He was born in a manger, but walked on gold streets at His heavenly home. He gave up the wealth of heaven for you and me.
The Cross –The Cross is the Pinnacle of sacrifice. Jesus was born under the shadow of the cross. In that shadow He learned to walk, talk, live and die. The shadow of the cross was upon: His cradle; in the room as He worked in the carpenter shop; on the scene where Judas betrayed Him; on the ground below the cross; and on the many crowns of Rev 19. He was slandered, He sweat blood in the garden as He prayed, He was arrested, He was jailed, He was tortured and He was executed in a most excruciatingly painful method by the Romans. Upon the Cross, the co-agent of all things good died in our place. The cross identifies Him with our needs.
The Crown – The Crown is the Climax of Sovereignty. From the cradle to the cross to the crown speaks of conquering. He conquered death, hell and the grave. He conquered sickness, disease, poverty and sin. As the spotless Lamb of God He came to take away the lack and replace it with more- than-enough. There was never another who gave up His life (to be crushed by the weight of the sin of the world and Satan’s devices) that could yet rise and conquer all by possessing the power to raise up His own life from a cold, stony grave. Is it any wonder why we hail Him as the Matchless-Redeemer and King of Kings? Is it any wonder that Christians understand, love and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas? Why? Because of the Cradle, the Cross and the Crown!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Meet the Author
Alan Bullock has a BA in Biblical Studies, a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling, and an earned Doctor of Theology. In addition, Alan is a Certified Pastor Counselor, a member of The International Association of Christian Counseling Professionals (IACCP), and also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).