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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5615

 The Bethlehem Shepherds

A few years ago at Christmas time my wife and I heard a very interesting sermon at the church we were attending at the time. The pastor laid out something I had never in all my long years heard before. I am a Christmas fanatic so the idea that there was something I had not heard about Christmas, especially as pertains to the birth of Christ, surprised me. I am going to lay out the main idea here the best that I can remember.

Micah 4:8: “As for you, watchtower of the flock, stronghold of Daughter Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.”

This “watchtower” of the flock was called Migdal Eder, and was just outside Bethlehem. The watchtower was used by shepherds. But not just any old shepherds. These shepherds were purified and charged with raising the sacrificial lambs that would be used at Passover. Migdal Eder is first mentioned in Gen. 35:19-21.

Anyway, when the shepherds noticed a sheep was about to give birth, they would move it to the stables around this tower and assist in the birth of the newborn lamb. They would place the lamb in a sculpted depression in the rock (called a manger) and then wrap the lamb in swaddling cloths in order to calm it down and protect it from injury so they could inspect it carefully to see if it was without spot or blemish and therefore suitable for sacrifice.

Recall that the angels announced (I think of Linus when I read this): “And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in ***swaddling clothes*** lying in a manger.”

How did the shepherds know where to find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths? Why was the “swaddling cloths” a sign? To these specific shepherds the words “swaddling cloths” meant one thing- Passover lambs. To them, the “sign” of the swaddling cloths made it obvious where they should look.

Of course, we have the added significance that Jesus IS the Passover Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, being born in the same place where Passover lambs were born, which were wrapped in swaddling cloths if certified for sacrifice. The shepherds understood the significance of this immediately and spread the word accordingly.

Anyway, I hope this thrills you as much as it did me when I first heard it. I thought it was so awesome that I went out and bought another light to add to our outdoor Christmas decor.


 2017/12/14 17:39Profile

Joined: 2017/1/10
Posts: 9
Woodburn, OR

 Re: The Bethlehem Shepherds

Thank you so much for sharing this insight. It really blessed me, brought tears to my eyes.

Glory to Christ Jesus, our Savior and King.


 2017/12/17 11:07Profile

 Re: Watch the Lamb

Seems appropriate to share this song by Ray Boltz.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Bro Blaine

 2017/12/17 20:42

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