A Christmas Cave


For Advent, I put aside the gospel of John and began pondering the Christmas story (Luke 2:1-20). I’m always amazed at the intricacy found in details and I’m astounded at the profound way God’s plans are fulfilled. For example, Mary and Joseph would never have planned to make the 80 mile trip from their hometown of Nazareth to Bethlehem…that would be crazy! Mary was nine months pregnant. But God planned for this trip to take place. His prophecy given to Micah would be fulfilled.

There are more details that can be discovered by digging deeper into the birthplace God planned for His Son.
I once toured Bethlehem and visited a dark, dingy cave. It was not the spot where most tourists gather, hoping they are seeing the actual birthplace of Jesus. But since no one knows for sure where in Bethlehem He was born and since scholars are fairly certain that His birth took place in a cave, perhaps I was in the right spot.
Bethlehem is not far from Jerusalem. In ancient times, you would see many sheep grazing on the hills with shepherds watching over them. These flocks had a specific purpose. They were born to become a sacrifice that would be offered to God at the temple in Jerusalem.
When a ewe was ready to give birth, she would be taken into a cave for protection. When a lamb was born that was found to be flawless, without blemish, it was chosen and set apart.
These perfect newborn lambs were wrapped in swaddling cloths so they would not become blemished. No scrapes or cuts spilling blood prematurely, no dirty stains from the earth. These little lambs were deemed holy. Worthy of being sacrificed.

Mary gave birth in one of these caves. And she wrapped her little newborn in swaddling cloths…the cloths designated for the chosen, sacrificial lambs. Her baby was holy. Born to be the perfect Passover lamb. The perfect sacrifice. Born to save the world. Born to die for us.

Jesus was born in the same place where tens of thousands of lambs were born for the purpose of sacrifice. Over and over and over again. But He ended all that. His blood spilled over once and for all … for all sins, past, present and future. 

As I sat in that cave, I was overwhelmed with the revelation that …

🔍 Jesus, the Lamb of God, created the cave where He would breathe His first breath, and

🔍 Jesus, the uncreated Creator, became flesh and experienced life as a man, and

🔍 Jesus, the Savior, also created the tree where He would one day be nailed as He breathed His last breath, and

🔍 Jesus, God with us, who had always existed without boundaries, would experience being bound by His creation of time and space, and

🔍 Jesus, the One who never needed anything, agreed to step into His creation and became dependent on a 14 year old mother. He agreed to experience temptations and struggles in this broken world. He submitted to boundaries and He willingly agreed to humbly serve His most beloved creation…mankind. Even to the point of death.

Why? Love. Unfathomable love. Love that I can’t even explain. Love without limits. Love willing to give all. Love that never fails. Perfect love.

The romance began with Adam and Eve. But it was revealed for all to see by the coming of a baby born in a cave in Bethlehem. And the love story continues.

We are loved and desired by that kind of God. Amazing! Absolutely amazing!

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” 1 Peter 1:19-20.



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