When He hung on the cross, they said let Him come down and we’ll believe Him. That’s what the world is saying today… The world would take Him without the cross. But a cross-less Christ would mean no more than a Christ-less cross.

~ Vance Havner

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, courtesy of Mike Roberts

In Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell’s character begins to pray to Baby Jesus. His reasoning is that he likes Jesus as a baby – not what He did as a man. He then mocks Christ with irreverent sacrilege.

What Ferrell’s character does for laughs, many live out daily. The very ones eager to celebrate Christmas have no interest in the Passion or the Resurrection. They prefer Jesus in the manger and not on the cross. They fence Him in a cage, like the one at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

  • The infant Messiah’s more palatable than the Gospel Christ.

Jesus didn’t hold back any punches. He called it as He saw it. He fumed against false religion, calling its practitioners rotting corpses in foul-smelling tombs. He exposed linen-clad religious leaders as the sons of Satan. Jesus barked that a political leader was nothing more than a wily fox.

He didn’t follow the Dale Carnegie course material about winning friends and influencing people.

  • The infant Messiah’s not controversial to the world system.

The baby Jesus didn’t command followers to pick up their crosses to follow Him. He didn’t tell the people to sell all they had. He didn’t condemn their ways of living. He didn’t claim as a Child that He was the only way.

Of course, the world wants Baby Jesus because they can’t put a pacifier in the mouth of the Lord who rose from the grave.

  • The infant’s not offensive like the bloodied Christ hanging on a cross.

Vance Havner said it correctly: the world will take the Savior if there were no cross. While He hung there, people taunted Him to come down so that they could worship His show of power. They didn’t expect Him to do so, or they wouldn’t have derided Him as they did.

Today people do the same thing – just in a different way. People don’t want the Jesus who died on a cross. They want the innocent baby cooing away in a manger. People want a savior who loves every sinful lifestyle there is – not the Lord who said that all who reject Him suffer judgment already.

Modernists don’t want Jesus on that cross because that Messiah is offensive to others. They want to keep Baby Jesus in that cage in Bethlehem.

Why?

Unbelievers want the politically-correct Jesus, a man who never existed.