LAST YEAR, I smashed everyone’s iconic images of Jesus’ birth. Was the manger, in fact, in somebody’s living-room? Click here to see that blog. https://eleanorgustafson.com/uncategorized/rethinking-christmas-1/
THIS YEAR—How about Jesus being born on March 20 of 6 BC?
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has researched biblical and historical data, and his conclusions grabbed me. He notes:
King Herod died in 4 BC, so given his decree to kill all 2-year-old babies, Jesus was most likely born in 6 BC.
The ONLY time sheep would be pastured at night was during spring lambing season, when new lambs needed care. Bethlehem lambs, BTW, were set aside for temple sacrifice. Jesus, the Lamb of God, thus was born as the Perfect Sacrifice.
The Hebrew month of Nisan, which means Beginning, is the ancient Jewish New Year, the month in which the Exodus from Egypt was originally celebrated as a new beginning. Exodus 12:1: “And God spoke to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, ‘This month is to be for you the first month of your year.’”
At least one small, Jewish community still observes the New Year of Nisan 1, rather than Rosh Hashana. They say, “In Nisan, we were redeemed in the past, and in Nisan we are destined to be redeemed again, As the Exodus from Egypt took place in Nisan, so too will the ultimate messianic redemption.”
(Their words, not mine!)
Jesus’ Holy Spirit conception and birth mirrors the original, Old Testament tabernacle that took nine months from conception to completion. “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled or dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) Rev. 21:3—“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.” A beautiful image of true Christmas—Christ stooping low to draw us into the Holy of holies!
Might Jesus, our Redeemer, have been born on March 20/Nisan 1? WHEN He was born doesn’t matter. THAT He was born shattered our calendar: BC to AD.
What does Christmas mean to you? Is it gifts/parties/decorations? Or is it our Redeemer tabernacling with us? That’s worth celebrating. Few would move Christmas to March 20, but Cahn’s new perspective might lead us to bow and worship the Lamb of God.
Please share your Christmas thoughts—special memories, sacred moments, when you first felt the significance of Jesus’ birth. Comment below, or firstname.lastname@example.org