A new year is upon us. There is one tidbit left over from last year that I want us to munch on. We should all be in the process of setting goals and making plans and affirmations for the coming year. It is this little tidbit that I think would be well for us all to insert into our future.
I have always considered that Jesus was wrapped in a blanket when he was born. In my mind I translated “swaddling clothes” into a “blanket”. I learned in this past Christmas season that the sign of him being laid in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes carries special significance. There were ceremonially clean shepherds in Jesus’ day who watched over flocks that were raised for the express purpose of being a lamb to be sacrificed in the temple. One of the qualifications for a lamb to be a sacrificial lamb in the temple was that it be without blemish. These temple flock shepherds would wrap newly born lambs in strips of clean cloth called swaddling clothes to protect them and keep them free of blemishes. With no room found in a Bethlehem inn during the busy tax season, Mary and Joseph ended up in what we would call the barn for the flocks of temple sheep, which was also the birthing area for the sheep. Swaddling clothes were definitely in this place, so the clear sign and direction given by the angels to the shepherds was that they would find the babe in a manger wrapped in these clean swaddling clothes used for the sacrificial lambs.What a divinely orchestrated series of events – tax season, crowded inns, Mary and Joseph ending up at the place where sacrificial lambs were born, and the angelic word given to the shepherds about the sign of swaddling clothes with the babe lying in a manger. They knew right where to go to find the Savior Babe.
Wow! This awesome God is the one who we want to have our destiny! What a clear sign that shows the redemption that has been birthed into the world for all people’s deliverance! Jesus, the Lamb of God, wrapped in the same swaddling clothes as the sacrificial lambs for the temple. Even in his birth, every detail is pointing to him being the Savior of mankind from sin, disease, death, and hell. If you have not truly called upon his name and yielded your life to him for cleansing from sin and eternal life, then I urge you to start your new year taking Jesus as your Lord and King. Through him, in all the details of life, you can realize the peace, joy, and power that is now available to you through his Word and Spirit. The babe has grown up to be the King. We can bow our knee to him now and realize his goodness and blessings. Let’s start the New Year with the King of all kings orchestrating our life as never before.