I thought I might do a little something, this year, that would help me focus on what this season is really about, and maybe it could help you, too. I’m going to take the story of Jesus’s birth, found in Luke 2, and go verse by verse, 1 through 24, to see what happens. Here we go…


This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. ~ Luke 2:12 NIV

It occurred to me, as I read this passage all by itself, that the angel’s sign was actually in two parts:

  1. You will find the baby wrapped in cloths (swaddling cloths in some translations)
  2. You will find the baby lying in a manger

There is nothing in the Bible that is there for embellishing purposes, or without reason. Nothing. And while we’ve focused on the manger in great part, what about the swaddling cloths? Don’t you normally wrap a baby up?

So, I did a little digging and found something really interesting, that I’d never heard before.

Before Jesus was born, there had to be lambs sacrificed for the people’s sins at Passover. These lambs were born from the finest sheep, kept by highly trained and purified, “priestly” shepherds, and were watched from a flock tower called Midgal Eder, on the outskirts of Bethlehem. When a lamb was born and certified for sacrificial use, he was carefully wrapped in swaddling cloths to protect him from contamination, and laid in a manger filled with straw in a stall at the base of the flock tower.

Because the Bible doesn’t say, anywhere, the exact location of Christ’s birth, outside of being in Bethlehem, there has been generations of assumption that it was the innkeeper’s stable, since he had no room to offer them. But there are quite a few Bible scholars, and a number of articles written, that suggest that the shepherds were the first ones told of Christ’s birth, and given these two signs, because they, of all people, would know exactly where to find him…in a stall at the base of Midgal Eder, “The Tower of the Flock,” wrapped in swaddling cloths, and lying in a manger, for He was the ultimate Passover Lamb, the One whose coming had been foretold.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this was actually what happened, because it just sounds like God. Nothing is by accident. Nothing is without meaning or symbolism, when it comes to Him. I actually think it makes a lot of sense, as well. Regardless, however, it doesn’t really matter to me. I just care that He was born, at all. Miraculously conceived, and humanly, humbly born.

For me.

For you.

For ALL.

And that’s worth an angelic announcement from the mountaintops, in my opinion, with as many signs as he cared to offer.


The next day [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! ~ John 1:29 ESV