On the evening that I write this (December 24), around the world, Christmas-Eve services are being held in which, in harmony with tradition, the birth of Jesus is commemorated. It has become a persistent and apparently ineradicable habit, even though most people know that Jesus' birth probably did not occur on December 25. And even not near this date.
In this context, I would like to refer to a study in which I explained that Jesus' birthday was a few days before Passover. In Luke 2:42 (literally translated), we read that Jesus became twelve years, when he and his parents went up to Jerusalem for the Passover. One date that, in this connection, stands out and qualifies for Jesus' birthday is the 10-th of Nisan (or Aviv). That is the divinely appointed day on which Israel was to take a lamb into the house (Ex.12 :3-6). It, therefore, is the most likely date on which the Lamb of God would make His entrance into the house of Israel. Consider also the sign of the manger which was spoken about to the shepherds: a special manger for such a lamb.
But that's not all. For this date of birth also means that Jesus' circumcision (eight days later) took place on the 17th of Nisan. And that is precisely the day when He, years later, would rise from the dead! How very special, when we realize that circumcision is the sign of God's promise to Abraham, namely, to bring forth life out of an elderly couple, too old for such.
These are just a few simple, yet significant biblical considerations in connection with Jesus' birth. Indeed, these particulars do not lead us to the end of December, but to early April. Not to the heart of winter, but to the spring. Jesus' birth is related to the Passover: the high day of the slaughter of the lamb. The manger is linked to the cross. Feel free to enjoy, during these dark days, the evergreen tree with her colorful lights, but do not be misled into unfounded romanticism.
The Biblical facts are ever so much more beautiful!
Translation: Peter Feddema