THE BIRTH OF THE SAVIOR
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
So the Church has always understood that Jesus Christ was not born in winter, and taught instead the more likely scenario that He was born in the fall of the year. This made reasonable sense in light of commentaries like that of Adam Clark. Clark wrote that the shepherds traditionally brought their flocks in from the field before the fall rains, prior to our month of October, and this alone cast doubt on a December birth. Then I read in Adam’s commentary that the phrase “dwelt among us” as found in the first chapter of the book of John was not at all what we had thought. This phrase literally means tabernacled, not just an inference that Jesus Christ briefly lived among humans. This leads to the question of why the use of a term that clearly alludes to the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall of the year.
With these things in mind I took a fresh look at the question, beginning with the perspective of how the death and resurrection of the Savior was perfectly timed with Holy rituals of the spring Holy Day season, thus being anything but random. So what would give us license to think that the birth of the savior was not just as perfectly tuned to Holy rituals? Would the Father leave one end of Christ’s journey in human flesh and blood completely to chance while the other was perfectly timed to annual Holy events?
As I retraced the evidence trail I realized something incredible, that the birth of our Savior quite simply would not have been left to chance at all. There are very strong indications that the actual timing of Christ’s birth has been hiding in plain sight, right in front of our eyes all this time.
The traditional teaching in the Church has been that Christ was born on the feast of trumpets in recognition that it is most probable that Christ’s birth was tied directly to a Fall Holy day. I certainly agree with the reasoning however, I will show that there is an even more amazing possibility.
Another clue to the mystery of when the savior may actually have been born is found in John chapter 12 in the story of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem five days before His final Passover. A remarkable event took place when Christ rode on the back of a donkey while His followers laid tree branches along His path. Specifically mentioned are branches freshly cut from Palm trees. Why? Why indeed. Why would anyone cut branches from trees to line His path when the only precedent for doing such a thing is found in the act of preparing for the feast of Tabernacles on the first day of that Feast, at the opposite end of the Holy Day calendar from the Passover season? So again we are confronted with the thought of a tabernacle. On the occasion of the very first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, branches were cut from certain trees with the palm tree among the few that were specified. The participants then made tabernacles from these as temporary homes during the seven day festival. Is there a parallel here that has been long overlooked?
When the Savior was born, He was literally cut off from His source of life of the previous nine months, his Mother, like a branch cut off from a tree on the first day of the feast. What if the first day of the Feast acts as a reminder of the first and only time in all history that God emptied himself completely of eternal life to be born as a human being, and began to tabernacle on His own as flesh and blood for the ultimate purpose of becoming the perfect Passover Lamb? We have long recognized that we ourselves are in a type of “tabernacle” and will die a sure death with our only hope to be raised from the grave.
What If Christ were literally born on the first day of the feast? Wouldn’t that make this Holy Day all the more meaningful as the first day that God, in the personage of Jesus Christ began to “tabernacle” for a brief 33 ½ years among humans, as well as the day that represents the time when the resurrected and glorified Christ will take up his place as King in the Millennium? This would make the first day of the Feast truly the Day of the King in more ways than we had thought, and would raise the bar on the meaning of this Holy Day to an entirely new level. It is revealing too that the Wise men brought expensive gifts to “the newborn King.”
This idea lends new meaning to Christ’s words to Pilate when asked if he were a King. He said “To this end was I born”. My interpretation is this. If He was born on the first day of the feast, it would be a perfect and fitting prophecy of His destiny to be the King of the Millennium. So, for me it is not a huge leap of faith to consider the very real possibility that Christ was actually born on the first day of the feast of Tabernacles. This in itself would be amazing, but there is more to consider.
For example if he were born on the first day of the feast, then something else equally remarkable would have happened. This other event may be memorialized in Christ’s conflict with the Jews when they berated Him for healing on the Sabbath, yet they themselves upheld the lowly law of circumcision. They had no problem performing surgery on any Sabbath if it happened to be the eighth day from a baby boy’s actual birth. Christ would have been well aware of that fact if He were himself literally circumcised on the one and only Eighth Day, not just a Sabbath, but a High Sabbath, and the seventh and final Holy Day of the year! This would add greater depth to our view of this day, and perfectly mirror its real meaning.
Another point that presents itself if He were born on the first day of the Feast is that He would have been born on a Holy day that has no recurring calendar date each year. Therefore, no one would think about His birth on a particular date each year, as western culture tries to do. So just maybe this is another reason why our Savior’s birth has been hiding in plain sight all this time.
If these things are true, then there are other startling facts that we need to examine, but not at this time. Perhaps at a later date I will write another companion article to bring in more of the fascinating evidence. For now, I will again direct the reader to my article on the Eighth Day, a real eye opener.