Tis the season they all say, but the season for what? How our world hasn’t been twisting things around for centuries. From pure remembrance and thankfulness to such a pagan show of rich, wealth and fallen sin; there is very little joy as everyone just runs around to ticking off lists and making preparations.
Today I want to tell you about some of the significant elements involved in Jesus’ birth, which ought to renew our minds and give us reason to be thankful and joyful. We truly have an awesome Savior!
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of David. Which literally translated means “the city of bread” (Beth lehem)
In the Old Testament God promised David that from his line the King will be born.
“As Nathan spoke to David the words of the Lord, “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16 [NKJV]
This prophecy was given 1000 years prior to Jesus’s birth. Now, let’s get to the symbolism, the fact that Bethlehem was quite significant in the Bible brings in a rather fascinating aspect to me. However, although it was the destination where several significant Biblical happenings took place- by Jesus’ time it was a lowly place of little value to most. It wasn’t considered a great destination. Yet, God had planned it for the birth of His Son. To cut to the chase here; Jesus is our “BREAD OF LIFE”!
“Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:32-34 [NKJV]
He was born in a lowly stable in a manger from which animals ate- contrasting His kingship. It should have been a palace! Yet He came to us humbly. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes;
“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.” Luke 2:6-7 [NKJV]
This wasn’t cute baby blankies with soft trimmings or fleece, these were hardy clothes. This shows to Jesus’ death. Where He was buried in ‘strips of linen’ and this shows us that from His birth He had a greater purpose… (more on this later)
Furthermore, Angelic hosts appeared to shepherds in a field keeping watch over their sheep by night singing glory in the highest, bringing them joy!
“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. 11 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!” Luke 2:8-14 [NKJV]
Jesus is our GOOD SHEPHERD!
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” John 10:11-16 [NKJV]
After Christ’s birth, a bright star appeared in the East, and this captured the eyes and hearts of several wise men. There has been much skepticism and speculation about this star, but this star that guided these wise men to Bethlehem was a true miraculous phenomenon! It was a guiding star that was prepared by God- as plain as that.
“Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2: 1b-2 [NKJV]
And in Vs 9-10
“When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” [NKJV]
Jesus is our BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR!
“’I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”” Revelation 22:16 [NKJV]
When the wise men finally reached the young Child and His mother they did what any created being ought to do, they rejoiced and worshiped Him! They brought Him gifts, treasures from afar…
“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” Matthew 2:11 [NKJV]
Gold-indicating His Kingship
“And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” Matthew 27:11b [NKJV]
“Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 [NKJV]
Frankincense-indicating His Priesthood
[Our Compassionate High Priest] “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Hebrews 4:14 [NKJV]
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22 [NKJV]
Myrrh– pointing to His death and burial
“And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.” John 19:39-41 [NKJV]
Every element involving Jesus’ birth was so significant, divinely chosen by God. Many point to His fulfilment of being our Savior. Others show of His deity and character. It is truly magnificent. We are so blessed to be saved! We are so loved that He chose to come to earth for us. May this be the mindset you have during this month of December where the majority of the people are lost in the maze of festivities. Remember why we truly celebrate. Remember why we are grateful and joyful!
“So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” Matthew 2:5-6 (quoted from Micah 5:2) [NKJV]