He Was Born to Die
The story of Christ’s birth as reflected in Luke2:7; 11-12, holds deeper meaning than most of us realize. We are all familiar with these verses from Luke… “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.” “For is born to you this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” In some newer versions swaddling cloths are referred to as just cloth.
I started to think about why would a baby in a certain type of cloth be a ‘sign’ to the shepherds that this was the Messiah? The manger was not mentioned first but the swaddling cloths were. What is it about these swaddling cloths that would be a sign? Hmmm, this set me to pondering and researching.
The term ‘swaddling cloths’ is still used today by nurses who wrap the baby after birth. However, that term is a 2000-year misnomer. The origin of the term comes from the harsh countryside in the Middle East. People often traveled for days or months back then to reach their destinations. It was not uncommon for sickness or an accident to happen resulting in a death during their journey.
Middle Eastern Culture
Middle Eastern culture developed a way to deal with in-journey deaths. Each person traveling would take long, thin, gauze like strips of cloth and wrap them around their waist many times. This would be one of the bottom layers of clothing. This cloth world be reserved for death. If someone died during the journey, their family or friends would remove the swaddling cloths and wrap them from head to toe so they could be buried, and the journey could be completed. Swaddling clothes were for wrapping a person in who had died not to wrap a baby when born.
When Yeshua (Jesus) was born, He was wrapped in Joseph’s death cloth. The sign for the shepherds wasn’t that they would find a baby wrapped in a blanket in a manger. The sign was that they would find a baby prepared for death…hence the swaddling cloths. Yeshua (Jesus) came to earth to die for our sins. That was His purpose. This was even evident from the instance of his birth. There is much more to this story but I will save that for another time.
WHAT A GOD!
One of the gifts of the Magi, was myrrh, which was a spice used for death and burial. It was basically a deodorant for the dead body to keep it from smelling so bad. Of course, we know that the Magi did not come upon the scene until Yeshua was a toddler, most likely just under two years of age.
I find it most interesting that the baby Yeshua was wrapped in the death clothes of a man named Joseph, and thirty-three years later He was buried in the tomb of another man named Joseph! More pondering on my part and for another teaching.
There was no room in the Inn when Yeshua was born,. So, Mary and Joseph used a nearby stable (not the type of structure we know today) for Yeshua’s birth. With no other cloth to use, Yeshua was wrapped in Joseph’s swaddling cloths…the cloth normally used for a person’s death.
The King of Kings and Lord of Lords came into this world in a lowly manger and was wrapped with burial clothes. He was born to die…to die for the sins of all mankind.
Most of us know that December 25th is not the actual birth date of Yeshua. We know that He might have been born in late September or early October during the Feast of Tabernacles. Or perhaps He might have been born in the Spring during First Fruits (the last festival of Pesach).Whenever it was, you can be sure it was during a Holy Day when it happened. But I digress…that is also a teaching for another time. The point is that whenever we remember and celebrate His birth, that even in birth, He was preparing for death. This was His ultimate reason for coming to earth to save us from our sins so we can be reconciled back to the Father.
A Cave and Stone Trough
Note: The barn was most likely a cave where they kept cattle. The manger was a stone trough where the cattle were fed. It was definitely not made of wood as we see it portrayed today. I have been to Israel and have seen a real manger. Some of them are low on the ground with several inches of a raised lip effect around it to keep the food from spilling out. Then there are those that are higher off the ground like the one picture directly above. This is where our Lord laid when He was born. He was Royalty, a King, but it did not appear to be so. Things are not always as they appear, are they? There is much more to this story but I will save that for another time.
The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords came into this world born of a virgin, laid in a lowly manger and was wrapped with burial cloths. He was born to die…to die for the sins of all mankind.
WHAT A GOD WE SERVE!
A Word From His Heart to Yours
My Precious Children,
In this time and season, reflect back on the birth of My Son and all His birth encompasses for you. It was planned this way before the foundations of the earth were laid. This way was the ONLY way that you would be able to be reconciled back to Me. I value and long for relationship with My children. Don’t get so caught up in the earthly things of the season that you forget the real reason that you celebrate this season!
I love you more than you can or ever will realize while you are on the earth. My Son’s life, death and resurrection should give you a small clue of this love…if you really stop to think about it.
From Your Loving Father
Verses to Meditate Upon
Matthew 1 & 2
Luke 1 & 2
John 1: 1-31
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