Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn

12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Why did God choose the manger?

Manger is a feeding trough for animals. It is messy, dirty and smelly. Was it accidental or an unfortunate mistake? Was it an oversight?

In Micah 5:2, the prophet prophesies 700 years back before the birth of Jesus that he would be born in Bethlehem. God had 700 years to plan the details of Christ’s birth. He even made the rulers of the time to order a census so that Joseph and Mary would move from Nazareth to the place of their origin, which is Bethlehem. If God could do this on a global scale, why did he choose the manger, a feeding trough as the place where the baby rests?

Luke 2:12 says that this was a sign.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Clearly this was a sign of God’s redemption for his people. A Savior born for us who is Christ the Lord. When the message of the birth of our Savior was announced, there was sudden outburst of praise.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Glory in the highest, O what a Savior! Heavens rejoice over the birth of Jesus. The manger was a sign of redemption.

But the manger is also a sign of rejection.

The manger foreshadows the rejection of Christ during his life.  There was no room for him at the inn. Jesus was rejected even at his birth.  The wise men came but the chief priests ignored and rejected him. The Pharisees and religious leaders rejected Jesus throughout his ministry. The disciples deserted him. Judas betrayed him. Peter denied him. Pilate sentenced him to die. As a nation, Israel rejected him. And ultimately on the cross, God rejected him because of our sin.  Jesus was a man of sorrows filled with agony.

Jesus’ rejection still holds true today. The manger is also a sign of our rejection of Jesus. If we ask someone if they reject Jesus, the answer will be no. But we reject him every day. We

don’t have room for him in our hearts and schedules. We have room for entertainment, pleasure, work, money, parties, trips, friends but there is no room for Jesus.

We like to keep Jesus as a helpless baby in a manger but not as a Savior and Lord who demands our total allegiance. We love darkness more than the light

John 3:19 the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

For some reason we love darkness more than light and we are comfortable in the dark and afraid of the light.

1 John 2 says, we love the world and things in the world, the desires of the flesh, desire of the eyes, pride of life more than we love God.

Some reject Jesus in our pride. I am master of my life, I know what’s best for me, what’s important, I know what will keep me safe and secure. But we don’t realize how fragile our life is.

Some of us are too busy for God. Some are too casual while some don’t believe that this baby in a manger can be the Savior of this world. Some are indifferent and we live in such a way that this does not matter at all.

Do you see how we reject Jesus every day of our lives? The manger is a sign of our rejection.

The manger was a sign of redemption but also a sign of judgment. And we stand condemned before God.

And it is precisely for this reason he was rejected. He was rejected for my sake. The rejection of Jesus in his birth, life, death and resurrection was necessary for my redemption. If Jesus were not rejected, we would be rejected forever. God would reject us and there is no room for us in the eternal home.

But Christ suffered rejection in our place so we don’t face ultimate rejection. He was despised, denied, abandoned, betrayed and ultimately died on the cross. Jesus took our place and God rejected him on that cross. He suffered as a criminal and became a curse for us.

The gospel becomes good news of great joy to me when I come and submit before Jesus as Lord and Savior. It becomes good news when I realize how I reject him every moment and live for myself, when I repent of my sin, selfishness and realize what it took for God to accept me. When I see how much Jesus loves me to endure rejection by this entire world.

When this truth sinks deeply into my heart and soul, then I can sing, Glory to God in the highest, O what a Savior!

Is the manger a sign of your redemption or your rejection?

We value something when we see our need for it. Do u see your need for a Savior? Do you see you cannot save yourself? Do you see how much u fall short of God’s glory?

Christmas message has potential for infinite joy and peace. But it is for those whom God is pleased. He is pleased with those who recognize, admit their sin and come to him in humility.

Ranjit David

Ranjit has been in Pastoral Ministry for the last 10 years in various settings. Coming from an Engineering background, he is passionate about working with young professionals in Delhi, using their gifts, teaching from God’s word, and having an open home. His training from Dallas Theological Seminary and Redeemer City to City has equipped him to serve strategically in an urban context.

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