No matter how many times I read this, I just cannot do it without getting chills all over me! I bet you didn’t know the following about the manger that Jesus was laid in. Of course mangers are animal feeding troughs but in ancient Israel they were made of stone – not what you would see in a modern day nativity scene. Not comfortable, but great for protection. That’s why those who were experts in this matter, the priests, would put their newborn lambs in them for protection. But not just any lamb, the unblemished perfect lambs that were used in the sacrifice for sins. And Bethlehem, where Jesus was born was FAMOUS for their UNBLEMISHED LAMBS used for the sacrifice. These lambs had to be perfect so they would wrap them tightly in cloth and lie them in the manger to keep them safe. This is exactly why the only time mangers are mentioned in Jesus’ birth story it is being told to shepherds. In Luke 2 it says “This will be a sign for you, you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger.” The shepherds would have understood this powerful parallel! THEY KNEW what the cloth and the manger meant! This baby would be THE PERFECT LAMB OF GOD! The Messiah who would sacrifice His life for the sins of the whole world. He wasn’t just a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger, He was GOD: perfect, sinless and holy, humbling Himself to become the perfect sacrifice to reconcile us back to Himself!! THAT my friend, that Perfect Lamb, is WHY we celebrate Christmas!!