Holly gave a wonderful message at WoW, right before Christmas, and I meant to post it long ago. These are the notes she gave me – these are just the notes, of course – her message was much broader than this, but I’m sure she’d be happy to expand upon them if you ask:
December 25 was actually chosen by the Roman Catholic Church. It marks the end of the winter solstice. The actual date of birth of Jesus was probably closer to September 29, the Feast of Tabernacles.
John 1:14 – “And The Word became flesh, and tabernacles among us… ” This date would put his miraculous conception in late December. We may actually be celebrating the day that Holy Spirit came and rested over Mary. Our celebration of the coming of the Light of the World into Mary’s womb in late December, is when the Holy Land is in the most darkness, when the Sun is farthest away from Jerusalem.
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Luke 2:7-9 – “And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn, and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger.” A manger isn’t necessarily a feeding trough. It could also mean a stall.
Micah 4:8 – “And you, 0 tower of the flock, the hill and stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, unto you the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the Daughter of Jerusalem.”
In Hebrew, the tower of the flock at Bethlehem is Migdal Aydar. The Midgdal Aydar was a military tower erected to view into the valley on the edge of Bethlehem to protect the city The tower of Bethlehem is mentioned in Genesis 35:19 after Rachel had died. This is where she was buried.
“Then Israel journeyed on and spread his tent on the other side of the tower of Edar.”
The watch tower was used by the shepherds for protection from their enemies and wild beasts. It was also the place ewes were safely brought to give birth to lambs. Migdal Aydar wasn’t the watch tower for ordinary flocks. It guarded the valley where the best lambs were birthed for sacrifice in the Temple. The shepherds who kept these flocks were specifically trained for this royal task. It was their job to know the criteria of a perfect lamb that was to be sacrificed and to protect them.
These lambs were wrapped in swaddling clothes to protect them from injury.
These shepherds would keep a meticulously clean stable for a birthing place. It was to this place that Joseph took Mary, a place divinely and expressly suited to welcome the Savior of the World. How did the shepherds who met the angel know where to find Jesus? They were only told there would be a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Three was no need for the angels to give them direction because these shepherds already know. These men raised sacrificial lambs for the temple. They knew exactly where to go.
Luke 2:8-21. Jesus was born in a place where tens of thousands of sacrificial lambs were born before Him, and for us, He is the Lamb of God. The Last Lamb. The Living Sacrifice for all mankind.
1 Peter 1:19 – “for you were purchased with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”