The Scene in the Manger

The Missing Peace  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Luke 2:4–7 (NIV)
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.


Before I get into my sermon, I want to ask all of the parents here today, have you ever told your kids, “Please, don’t make a scene”?
How many of you know what I am talking about?
What is making a scene? It is drawing unwanted attention to ourselves.
Maybe, some of you have had to tell that to your husbands.
Don’t make a scene.
Someone cut them off on the freeway.
Or someone went out of turn at the 4 way stop sign.
Or someone drove too slow in the fast lane.
Is that just me?


Making a scene is what I want to talk to you all about tonight.
As we look at the birth of Jesus I want you to know that I believe God was making a scene.
He didn’t just want this birth to be a quiet contemplative moment, but everything about Jesus’ birth was a scene.

Heaven’s View

So Jesus’ birth is surrounded by moments, application and perspective that God used to get our attention.
For starters… everything about Jesus’ birth also pointed to His death.
The heavenly view of Jesus’ birth was not just looking at the boy in a manger, but also a looking forward to a man hanging on a cross.
We see His birth, but heaven also saw His death.
We see His beginning, but heaven sees the ending from the beginning.
And as we start to look at the birth of Jesus through heaven’s view, don’t start to feel sad that death is near. Don’t start to feel sorry for this little baby laying in a manger.
The birth of Jesus set in motion a beautiful redemption story that was thousands of years in the making...

The Town Called Bethlehem

Let’s examine the town where he was born.
Did you know that the town of Bethlehem where Jesus was born was not only prophesied about, but it carried a weight that few people even know about when reading the Christmas story.
In the Jewish law, there were certain sacrifices that required spotless lambs. These were lambs that were born without any marks and without any blemish. These lambs were required for the sacrifice so the Jewish people designated one city that specialized in the breeding of spotless lambs.
Anyone want to guess what city, the only city, that bred spotless lambs?
Bethlehem was the city that bred spotless lambs that were to be used for annual atonement.
Where Jesus was accidentally born.
Why do I say accident? Because Mary & Joseph were not from Bethlehem. This wasn’t home for them. As Mary was pregnant with Jesus, they needed to travel to Bethlehem for the census.
Could you imagine ladies, that the day you happen to be far away from your home, and your doctor, and your hospital, and your birth plan, that your child enters into the world?
But what was an accident to Joseph and Mary was no accident to God.
Jesus, the lamb slain before the foundation of the world needed to be born in the city of Bethlehem. Because his birth, was bring the world closer to his death.

The Swaddling Cloths

And we read, that after his birth, Jesus was wrapped in swaddling cloths.
Again, let me teach you about the significance of the swaddling cloths.
When a lamb was born in Bethlehem, the lamb would immediately be wrapped in swaddling cloth and placed in a manger so that the lamb could be examined. The shepherds would closely examine this lamb to make sure that it was without any blemish so that it could be used for the annual atonement of the Jewish people. In other words, they were perfect lambs and their sole purpose was to die in sacrifice for the sins of the people.
Spotless lambs were wrapped in swaddling cloths and set aside.
When Jesus is born, an Army of Angels appear before shepherds in Bethlehem notifying them that the Savior has been born and that he is wrapped in swaddling cloths.
The shepherds knew exactly where to go as they raced to the manger to see this child.
This child that was born in Bethlehem, wasn’t just an ordinary child, but he was the lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world.
And if you’ll allow me to fast forward a bit…
Fast forward 30 years, and Jesus is in line to be baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist. As Jesus reaches the water’s edge, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit revealed to John that Jesus was the Messiah. He pauses and announced to the crowd,
John 1:29 (NIV)
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
When John called Jesus a lamb, there was a connection to his death that was now even closer.
The same lamb born and wrapped in swaddling cloth, is standing here in front of John and he is still spotless. He is still without blemish.
He live like a man, but he was not just a man.
He was the savior of the world for all to see.

The Myrrh

The last sign surrounding his birth was when the Magi arrived. These were wise men from the East who came to worship the King of the Jews.
When they showed up to meet Jesus and they brought gifts.
Because they were wise.
Don’t ever show up to see a new born baby without a gift.
Two of the gifts were great… but one was a little sus.
The first was a gift of gold. I mean… who doesn’t want gold?
The second was incense. I could get with that. I use mandles at home all the time. Different, but the same.
But the last gift, was myrrh.
Everyone say myrrh.
Myrrh was used on the body of a dead person as they prepared them for burial.
What kind of baby gift is that?!?!?
Could you imagine rolling up to your god son’s baby shower and giving his momma a gift certificate for a mortuary.
“Surprise! it’s a gift card to Angel’s Mortuary! I put a down payment on a coffin!”
But this gift makes a lot of sense when you understand that the birth of Jesus is moving us closer to the cross.
Myrrh is then the perfect gift that you give to someone who is about lay down their life.
Myrrh was given to Jesus symbolizing his immanent death.


So you see, you cannot look at the birth of Jesus and separate it from the cross. As God looked down from heaven, he saw his birth, and he also saw the cross.
As God looked past the His birth He saw the cross.
But as He looked past the cross, He saw you.
He saw you.
The scene in the manger was to get your attention.
I want to talk to those right now who have not accepted Jesus into your heart.
The cross was not the end, you are the end. The cross was the bridge between the love of the Father, and you. There needed to be a sacrifice made on your behalf, so that you could come to the father.
The good news is that everything that was needed to reconcile you to the Father has already been done.
You are not saved by good behavior
You are not saved by your family history
You are not saved by being a good person.
You are saved by confessing with your mouth, and believing in your heart, that Jesus Christ is lord. When you accept Jesus, and make him your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit is going to come into your life and guide you to all truth.
You might have more questions than answers right now, and that’s OK. If you had all the answers, you wouldn’t need Jesus.
But when you receive Him, he comes into your heart and he guides you to the truth.
The reason many of you without Christ have lived your life feeling like something was missing, is because it wasn’t something, it was someone. And that someone is Jesus. And he is the Prince of Peace. And when he comes into your life, he’s going to bring wholeness and completeness to your life.


I’d like to close with giving you the chance to accept Jesus as your lord and savior today. If you have never done this, I want to lead you into this prayer as we close our service.
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