I thought I was a genius. I thought I had found the pot of gold that had evaded discovery at rainbow’s end. Turns out no, not really. I had rediscovered what scholars already knew: December 25the was not Jesus’ birthday, but He was conveniently thrown into the mishmash of the Roman Empires religions and gods.
What I had discovered was a longtime controversy. then I remembered Titus wrote “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” (Titus 3:9, NIV) I would suggest this caution might be shortened for my purpose here “to avoid controversies about the Bible and specifically Jesus’ life.” After all, as one person in my ensuing research pointed out, the New Testament writers did not believe it important or necessary to record the date of Jesus’ birth. The important point was that the Messiah had actually been born. What Jesus said and did was essential and transcendent in the minds of the New Testament writers.
So, with a huge grain of salt, may I tiptoe through my revelation regarding Jesus’ birth: God led the Hebrews out of cruel bondage in Egypt after they avoided death by the sprinkling of lamb’s blood on their doorposts — the original of the festival called Passover. They were taught God’s precepts through Moses, but they entered the Promised land, displacing grossly evil nations through the leadership of Yeshua (Joshua or in Latin, Jesus). Jesus the Christ (again, Latin for the Hebrew, Messiah) was born in Bethlehem. Angels announced the event to shepherds “watching their flocks by night.” Why only them? Lots of reasons, but it is the fact that they were working overnights that goes to my revelation: because it was lambing season, and the bloody afterbirths attracted all kinds of predators. The shepherds had to stay out all night with the flocks to protect the sheep. Lambing season was around March/April. Everybody else was inside their homes preparing the Passover.
Jesus’ story also ends at Passover. He was crucified, dead and entombed just entering Passover. So, I reasoned that Jesus, the fulfillment of Passover, the sacrificial Lamb of God, who brings salvation by “passing over” our sinfulness, was born at Passover. In fact, the whole Bible revolves around Passover and God’s provision for humanity’s salvation.
He brings us into the Promised Land of eternal life, bringing us back to the new Garden, the new Heaven and Earth. Of course, it requires us to participate, to be willing to accept our responsibilities, to answer the call.
The exact date escapes me, of course, and is not important or even knowable. However, I will never understand why the error of the 25th was not opposed and corrected from the pulpits of Christendom since, like forever, because, like forever, this was known.
Notwithstanding all that, my objection to the 25th is the mixing of the Truth of the Gospel with fable, pagan religious practices, and especially, idolatry. The Bible records humanity’s need to invent religions and god-idols that are more suitable, less confrontational, less demanding, and more compatible and confirming one’s own human nature — after all, the story of the Golden Calf was the response to the Ten Commandments Moses brought down from the mountain… because he took too long… The Tower of Babel was built as the Stairway to Heaven, the impatient attempt to find God by their own means… because He wasn’t answering their phone calls demanding answers…
Well, anyways, Have a Merry Christmas!