It is interesting, is it not, that God would fail to make certain there was housing for Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem.
Every detail of the conception and birth of Jesus Christ was prepared with precision; from the order of the constellation to the political and military structure and perfectly matching the dates of Daniel 9:24-26, written centuries before.
How is it possible God forgot to ensure there was a hotel room for them in the town?
There have been Christmas plays portraying in the inn keeper as evil because he would not give the expecting mother a room.
Was this a major oversight by Joseph or a divine mystery?
Forced by need, Joseph found a quiet stable on the edge of town and in the fields of Migdal Eder for his wife to give birth to their son.
There were shepherds in those fields keeping night watch over their sheep.
Some have said this is a certain indicator the timing would definitely not have been December. However, a more detailed study reveals this is not so certain.
The law, in the Mishnah regarding sheep being raised for Passover, requires the sheep be in the fields year round. The sheep being raised in the fields of Migdal Eder were specifically for Passover.
The celebration of Passover is an “everlasting ordinance” given by the Father celebrating the night God delivered Israel from the death angel and from Egyptian slavery.
The first born child of every Egyptian family and the first born animal of every herd were to be killed that night. However, the death angel would pass over the home and herd of every Israelite home with the door post painted with the blood of a lamb
The instructions from God regarding the lamb and the blood were very specific.
“On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire — its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:3-13 NKJV).
Passover was not only about the deliverance of Israel from slavery and the death angel that stuck Egypt. It was a type and a foreshadow of the deliverance of mankind from the kingdom of darkness, slavery to sin, and death, the wages of sin.
One day John the Baptist saw Jesus coming towards him. John turned to some of his disciples and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he, of who I said, ‘After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for He was before me’” (John 1:32-33 NKJV).
What an amazing statement!
It can only be fully understood within the context of Jesus life over the three years following that declaration. He forgave sin, cast our demons, healed the sick and even raised the dead.
The most startling events took place the last week of Jesus life when He arrived in Jerusalem for Passover.
He came into the city riding on a donkey with crowds of people cheering and celebrating His arrival. We call it Palm Sunday in the Christian church. It was the 9th of Nissan on the Hebrew calendar.
That evening, at sunset, began the day every father of a Jewish family took the Passover lamb and set it aside from the rest of flock. The lamb is to be examined each day for the next four days, making certain it is a lamb without blemish.
When Jesus entered the city on the 9th of Nissan, He went to the temple.
Jesus was offended by the hypocrisy of the marketing of the Passover. He overturned the tables and the scattered the money of the cashiers, declaring the House of God should be a house of prayer not a marketing tool for the greedy. He began healing the blind and the infirmed.
The children who were watching began celebrating Jesus and His wonderful work.
The Chief Priests and the Scribes were also watching from a distance with a jaundiced eye. They were angered by what the children were doing. Jesus simply quoted Scripture to them showing how right the children were in their actions.
Monday, the 10th of Nissan, Jesus was examined by the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees who were seeking to find a blemish in the Lamb of God. He was confronted every day that week by the religious leaders seeking to find fault.
At sundown on the 13th of Nissan, Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples.
He was arrested later that night and examined by the High Priest and the Sanhedrin. The only fault they could find was Jesus affirmation that He is the Son of God. The religious leaders took Jesus to the Roman Governor, Pilate, who declared “I find not fault in Him.” Yet, he was sentenced to be executed on the cross.
The Passover lambs were sacrificed in the temple at 3:00 PM, on the 14th of Nissan.
That day, while the lambs were being sacrificed, the massive curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was suddenly torn from top to bottom.
It was at that very hour the Lamb of God, found to be perfect and without blemish, died on the cross at Calvary. He was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead delivers mankind from the powers of darkness and the curse of death.
Indeed, was it an oversight by God or a human error that Mary had the baby in a stable?
Is it a coincidence the stable was in the fields of Migdal Eder where Passover lambs were being watched and the shepherds who came and saw the new born baby were those who cared for the Passover sheep?
A divine mystery!