It is Christmas, the day that the Christian world celebrates the birth of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. This is the day that our GOD entered our world and began His plan to save us from ourselves. This is, of course, a most important day in the Christian life, for the life of Jesus is the life of GOD. However, there is one important fact that’s absolutely clear in the Bible. Jesus Christ wasn’t born on Christmas Day.
The argument, in brief, goes that Jewish men were required by Jewish law to go to Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles, with tabernacles (sukkoth) being cloth tents with wooden frames used to cover their tithes of harvested grains, fruits, and animals, and would provide an excellent opportunity for Herod’s census.
Joseph, being required to go, would have taken Mary with him to Bethlehem, five miles from Jerusalem, and when the Biblical story says Joseph and Mary were unable to find shelter for the night and had to stay in a stable, it would have been one of these tabernacle holding animals destined to be given to the priestly class.
Should we stop celebrating Christmas? Well, that depends. It’s clear from this argument that the harvest celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is the proper date for the birth of Jesus Christ, culminating as it does on the holiest day of the year, the Day of Atonement, but it’s also clear that Christmas Day is important theologically and politically.
Since Sukkoth (the Feast of Tabernacles) is a harvest celebration that occurs in Fall (usually in early October), if you count 40 weeks (the normal gestation period for a human child) back from October, you will land on or about the last week of December, which brings us to another important theological question.
When did Jesus Christ become the Christ? Did Jesus become the Christ when He was born in a stable surrounded by sacrificial lambs and lain in a manger on a cool Autumn night? Or did Jesus become the Christ the moment He entered our world in a physical form, which was from the moment of His Conception that night in late December?
The answer, I think, is clear.
Liberty is For The Win!