“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home.”Luke 2:1-4
A couple of years ago, Debie and I attended a Christmas concert at Sunrise Christian Academy where our daughter-in-law is the Band Director and where our granddaughter Grace, played her flute. Prior to that concert Dr. Robert Lindsted, their Superintendent, told us that he just got back from the Holy Land and a visit to Bethlehem.
Messiah Jesus Christ
He noted the significance of Bethlehem to the entire world of Christianity as the birth place of the Messiah Jesus Christ. However, he told us that the people of that region didn’t know or refer to Bethlehem in that way. To them in that region the town of Bethlehem is known primarily for the raising of sacrificial lambs.
Bethlehem is very close to the Temple at Jerusalem and there is no way Jerusalem could supply all the lambs it needs for its various festivals and is very much depended upon Bethlehem to provide the large number of lambs for them.
People traveling to Jerusalem could always count on Bethlehem for their lamb to sacrifice at the altar in the temple.
Isn’t it interesting that the people of that region knew Bethlehem for providing sacrificial lambs and indeed our Savior Jesus Christ, the One in whom we celebrate today, became our sacrificial Lamb for all of mankind. Born in Bethlehem; born to live for us, and born to die for us as our sacrificial lamb is indeed our Immanuel, God with us. Celebrate with me the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Your friend in Christ,