This blog post is a result of 3 years of research and a heart that is passionate about truth. I am a seeker and a digger and I believe with my whole heart that truth sets free. Whenever I encounter truth, I encounter freedom, and I get just another small glimpse of the majesty of God and His boundless glory. Please don't think I am claiming that the following information is the corner market on truth, and I do fully realize that there is excellent debate points on this topic. I have been wrong before, and I suspect it will happen again (more than a few times). I certainly don't think it's our job or purpose to convince any else out of their convictions nor talk them into ours. It's merely our job to live out our own walk with joy and shine our light before men, that they would glorify our Father in heaven.
I still have so so much to learn and to understand, but I thank the Lord, with all my being, that His majesty and love for us, is intricately displayed in every single detail of His story and His creation. If you're like me, you just want to please God, and sometimes that is a journey of a few messy mistakes, humble pie, prayer, joy, tears, surrender, and deeper study. In the end, I believe God is truly simply pleased with our whole hearted pursuit of Him.
One of my favorite parts of this time of year, is that the stars appear the absolute brightest in the darkest part of winter. They twinkle and shine in a way that is not displayed in any other season. Perhaps its the contrast of the depths of the darkness, or maybe, God simply turns the light a bit brighter; I can not even begin to fathom what the skies must have looked like 200 years ago. Maybe, this is why I have always loved the white twinkle lights draped on the trees outside during the winter season. It's almost as if we are trying to have earth mimic the heavens; attempting to dispel the darkness with light.
As I was doing a study on why the birth of Christ was likely in September around the Feast of Tabernacles, I stumbled upon another beautiful fact, that would continue to build on itself over the past few years, into a beautiful revelation. It has brought me such profound joy and comfort about this time of the year, and I pray it does you as well.
Luke 1:36 "And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren."
Our story starts with Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, and husband of Elizabeth.
Zechariah was serving his term as priest in the temple, and Zechariah belonged to the priestly division of Abijah. The temple service of this division can be noted in 1 Chronicles 24:7–19:
The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malkijah, the sixth to Mijamin, the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah, the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah…
Each of the 24 divisions served for a week, but they all served together at major feasts. The biblical calendar began in the month of Nisan (Abib), around the end of March, whereas the civil or domestic calendar began at Feast of Trumpets at the end of September (note that the civil New Year is tradition and not in the bible). The Hebrew calendar also works by the moon and it's days begin at sundown and end at sundown.
The only time that I am aware of the priestly service being interrupted is during exile when Solomon’s temple was destroyed.
Assuming Zechariah was attending his duty at the temple for the first time, this is what we would get -
Abijah - Serving week 9 during the month of Sivan
As we recall, the angel Gabriel visited Zechariah in the temple to tell him that his barren wife of older age would conceive. Zechariah's voice was taken temporarily for his doubt of the word given to him. This was likely at the very end of his duty at the temple and he would have proceeded home and Elizabeth would have conceived shortly after. John was likely conceived in the second half of the month of Sivan, which is around the beginning of what we know as June. We know that the scripture also says that there was a 6 month difference between John and Jesus.
Luke 1:26 "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,"...
Luke 1:39 "And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste into a city of Judah;"
Luke 1:40 "And entered in the house of Zechariahs, and greeted Elisabeth."
Luke 1:41 "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
We see even here, God making it crystal clear that life begins in the womb upon conception.
"If we add the six months between John and Jesus, and the 40 weeks or so of Mary’s gestation, we arrive at the middle of September the following year for the birth of Christ. Why is this so beautifully significant? See, all of the parts of Jesus' life fell on significant feast dates or will fall on them at His second coming.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling [Gk: skenoo] among us.
Some translations say, ‘tabernacled among us’ to highlight the beautiful significance of the connection. His body became the new tabernacle or temple. He was God come in the flesh to tabernacle with men. It would be so profoundly perfect for Him to have been born during the Feast of Tabernacles in September. However, it must be noted, that whenever He was born, it was in fact perfect. Whether in September or any other time.
This would also make sense based on the fact that the shepherds were in the fields with their flocks at night. This would not likely have been in winter when the weather was very cold and wet, but rather at the end of harvest to clean the fields.
However, I could not stop there, because I believe God wastes no small detail in the revelation of the glory of His plan.
If one travels backwards from the birth of Christ at the time of Tabernacles, to the time of conception, one would arrive at the end of December.
Oh it gets good.. I promise you...
The end of December is known as the darkest time of the year. It also happens to be the time of the year when Christians celebrate the light coming into the world, and many Christians, Messianics, and Jews, also celebrate the Feast of Dedication (ie festival of lights ie Hanukkah) Those two celebrations often overlap in their timing at the end of the year.
I hope we can also all agree as believers that life begins at the moment of conception, especially when it relates to the Savior of the World. If the Holy Spirit came upon Mary at the end of December (I suspect December 25th), then the light would have literally entered the world at the darkest time of the year.
During Jesus' ministry, He went to the temple during the Feast of Dedication at the end of December, and He stood there by the lamp stand and declared, I AM the light of the world.
John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
While, Feast of Dedication is not a commanded feast in scripture, it was still very significant to the Hebrew people. Yeshua got up at the Feast and declared Himself the fulfillment (ie the substance of ie the embodiment of) the Feast of Dedication and of the lamp stand. He declared Himself the Light! He declared Himself the Temple!
Of the new heavens and the new earth we know,
“for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev. 21:23).
So, while I don't believe it's accurate that He was born at the end of December, I absolutely believe it's when He entered the world, via the Holy Spirit, into the blessed womb of his mother. Either way, The Light had come into the world. What a thing to celebrate. What a thing of joy. I do realize that holidays today have unfortunately become so worldly and many things have gotten questionable and out of control. (I personally wish the santa thing would go off into oblivion) However, there's is still so much to celebrate and be joyful in. God wastes absolutely zero details to show His glory and to point to the Messiah of the world in every bit of everything He does.
So, whether you celebrate that through a Christ centered Christmas, or through Feast of Dedication, both, the humming of hymns, or through simply living those days with joy in your heart unto the Lord, be of good cheer, and rejoice, for a great light has come, and salvation is here for all the world.
Matthew 4:16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”