In Luke 2:7, the fact that there was no room for Joseph and Mary in the inn was not an accidental overcrowding due to the huge crowds who had come back to Bethlehem for the taxation. The fact that Jesus was laid in a manger when he was born was all by design. He was laid in the manger because he is a Lamb. John introduced him to Israel as the Lamb of God [Jn 1:29], thereby tying all of their Old Testament types and foreshadows together in Jesus Christ. Laying Jesus in a manger ties him to:
The lamb of Gen 3:21 used to clothe Adam and Eve – Jesus provides the perfect “covering” for our sins. Under his blood our sins are covered.
The lamb of Gen 4:4 Abel’s accepted offering – Jesus is the “accepted” sacrifice. He is the propitiation for our sins.
The lamb of Gen 22:8 the substitute for Isaac – Jesus is the perfect “substitute” and is God manifest in the flesh. So, indeed God did provide HIMSELF a lamb since he offered himself. And he took our place so that we wouldn’t have to die for our sins [2 Cor 5:21].
The lamb of Ex 12:3-13 for the Passover – 1 Cor 5:7 – Jesus is our “Passover” lamb. When God sees his blood he passes over us [1 Pet 1:19].
The lamb of Is 53:7 who opened not his mouth – 1 Pet 2:23 says, “who when he was reviled, reviled not again.” If Jesus had answered for himself, he couldn’t have answered for us. That is, he would have proclaimed his own innocence and our guilt. Instead, he took the guilt quietly so that he could justify us and clear the guilty [Ex 34:7].
Is it any wonder then that Jesus would have been laid in a manger? When you get to the book of Revelation you find Jesus there as the Lamb of God. While we say that he is coming back as a Lion, which is true in part, the truth is that he is and always has been the Lamb. Look what the Bible says about Jesus in these references in Revelation:
•Rev 5:6-13 the slain Lamb;
•Rev 6:1, 16 the wrath of the Lamb;
•Rev 7:9-17 the Tribulation saints and the Lamb;
•Rev 12:11 the blood of the Lamb;
•Rev 13:8 the book of life of the Lamb;
•Rev 14:1, 4, 10 the Lamb on mount Zion;
•Rev 15:3 the song of the Lamb;
•Rev 17:14 the war with the Lamb;
•Rev 19:7-9 the marriage of the Lamb;
•Rev 21:9, 14, 22-27 the Lamb’s wife New Jerusalem; and
•Rev 22:1-3 the Lamb’s throne.
Can you think of a better place for Jesus to have been laid than in a manger? Praise the Lord that God never fails to “tie together everything” in the Bible in a perfect fit. And thank the Lord for our Lamb, Jesus Christ!!