Luke 2:12-14 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
What a glorious and wonderful announcement of such a simple plan. You know, God could have made it complicated. He could have created a bunch of steps and levels that you have to attain before you could even be considered for salvation. Instead, God made it a very simple plan … in fact, it’s as simple as this:
Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
And that’s what makes this announcement of the birth of Jesus so glorious. Some argue that Christianity is narrow-minded and elitist. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. God has set before ALL of humanity a very simple plan. It’s a plan that is open to anyone who is willing to receive it. Jesus didn’t come to bring religion. In fact, Jesus came to tear down elitist religion. Religion is man’s attempt to reach God … Impossible. Christianity, on the other hand, is God reaching down to man. We cannot cross the gap that sin has created. So Jesus made the way.
Now, why did the Shepherds leave praising God? Well, verse 12 tells us:
Luke 2:12 (NKJV) And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
I remember with our first child that Christy and I had no idea about swaddling our baby. After many sleepless nights, someone took pity on us and told us about this miracle concept of swaddling. You see, newborn babies want the comfort of confinement like they had inside mommy. Wrapping the baby tight provides that comfort. But in those days, babes were not the only people who were wrapped tightly in swaddling clothes. Dead people were also “swaddled” in tightly wrapped clothes for the grave. Swaddling clothes were essentially grave clothes. And so, when the Shepherds looked down into that manger at baby Jesus, the sign that they received was that of new life … and the conquering of death. God loves you, my friend and He’s gone to extreme lengths to show you.