As I was reading this a.m. in the book of Luke, the traditional Christmas story, I was struck once more by the beauty of this story. “…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in clothes (KJV “swaddling”) and placed him in a manger.” Luke 2:7. Just that verse alone is huge.
Mary, the virgin and her first born son, conceived by the Holy Spirit is a miracle that stretches those given to rationality. However, the symbolism in this verse when compared to the prophecies of old was what caught my heart. God became flesh, clothed in humanity; yet, were this first-born to be royalty, why the stable? The manger, a place for feeding sheep…what better container for the “Bread of Life? The manger was the place where the good shepherd provided for his lambs, get it? The word is a derivative of the French word, a place to eat. “Come and dine.”
All this, in Bethlehem, a no name city that just happened to be called out by the prophet, Micah: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2 NIV. The Ancient of Days in a bread box, how creative is that!
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah…a lineage kept through the days of the Tribe of Benjamin and the strong man Saul, whom Israel really wanted as a King. This offspring of David, would make himself of no reputation, yet would become the redeemer of mankind. This God become man, would now wear these “swaddling” (clothing that intentionally bound the infant to assure proper posture) garments of flesh for all eternity, providing representation (advocacy) for we sinful creatures throughout eternity. God was now held captive for our redemption. How beautiful are the feet of Him who brings “good news.”
What are the chances, the probability that a story like this could be trumped up by religion? Some list the prophecies of Christ at 456, yet at a conservative estimate of 48 major prophecies, the probability is 10 X 157th power!
Mathematically speaking alone, He is the name above all names!