“…Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and often thought about them. Then the shepherds went back again to their fields and flocks, praising God for the visit of the angels, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had told them.” Luke 2:19-20
So, how else can shepherds relate to Jesus’ birth? There’s still more! We’ve talked how Psalm 23 was written by David several hundred years before Jesus was born, but we can go back even farther in the Old Testament when Passover was first practiced the year after Moses rescued the slaves (Israelites) out of Egypt under the direction of God. If blood was on their door frame, death passed over their home and were able to escape and be freed from Pharaoh and their bondage.
I recommend reading Exodus 12 where God gives Moses and Aaron the instructions of how to remember that significant day in their lives, by sacrificing a young lamb and using the lamb’s blood to put a mark on their door frame to remember how they were saved, and to thank God for His provision.
As written in the Bible about Jesus’ parents, they had to take a lamb to be sacrificed to practice Passover. History says that one month prior to Passover, shepherds would take large flocks of sheep, especially 1 year old lambs, and stand outside of Bethlehem and sell them so the people would have one to give to the high priest to sacrifice in Jerusalem which was 6 miles away from Bethlehem. There were many, many shepherds and many, many lambs/sheep in the area of Bethlehem that time of year!
Doesn’t God’s amazing story throughout history give you goose bumps like it does me? It’s all woven together to be a wonder-full and beauty-full tapestry that we are given as a gift from our Abba God!
· The first Passover
· The sacrifice of young lambs and their blood to save God’s people
· Psalm 23
· The prophecies referring to shepherds and sheep
· The dirty shepherds in Bethlehem where an angel spoke to them and they were the first to see baby Jesus
· The Good Shepherd, Jesus (John 10:11)
· Jesus, our ultimate sacrifice, as He was our Lamb, hanging on the cross to save us.
This Christmas season, I want to be like Mary and be still and TREASURE these things in my heart. This season, may we make time to sit still, reflect, be amazed and in awe at the gift God gave us, and treasure that priceless gift!
What amazes you the most about the gift and gifts God has given you? Let’s thank God for those things today!