“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.”
The question, “What Child is this?” is the opening to a much-loved Christmas hymn. It is an important question that demands an answer from all mankind, for this was no ordinary Babe.
The shepherds knew the City of David well, but how could they possibly find one baby among so many? There was only one place where a manger and swaddling came together, the Tower of the Flock in nearby Bethlehem. The fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy had finally come! “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
However, human babies weren’t kept at the Tower of the Flock or laid into troughs, for only baby lambs were. This was the place where Levitical shepherds kept their flocks for temple sacrifices. Newborn lambs were placed in mangers to be examined for blemishes, for these future sacrifices had to be declared perfect before being wrapped with swaddling—the same type of linen strips that had wrapped the body of Jesus as He lay in the tomb.
The “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) was born in Bethlehem Ephrathah because it pointed mankind toward the real reason Jesus came to earth, the cross. Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God—without fault or blemish—the only acceptable sacrifice for your sins and mine.
The question remains: who is this Child to you? I pray He is Christ the Lord, your King and Savior.
Awaiting His Return,
– Pastor Jack
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