In Christmas, we encounter a Savior who was refused lodging so that heaven might be opened to us, not as temporary lodging but as our eternal home.

It was likely late December 5BC when the time came for another Census to be taken and everyone, including Mary and Joseph, was directed to go back to their ancestral homes to be counted. The First Couple traveled 90 miles to Bethlehem where they found the residences overflowing with family members and the local hotels filled with Roman government workers who had come to count the people and assess their taxes. From this scene comes one of the most familiar lines of the Bible, “She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Also from this text comes one of the most familiar and adequate preaching applications, “there was no room for them in the inn, is there room in your heart for Him?”

But I’m more struck by looking at this scene through a wider-angle lens. This is the Son of God who came from His Father’s heavenly mansion which included a comfortable, spacious room, yet according to the plan of redemption which involved punching a hole in the top of the world and lowering Himself into it, the Son of Man would have no place to lay His Royal head.  While temporary lodging was refused to the first family we are reminded that he came to prepare a place for us through the opening of an eternal door of heaven in order to increase his family. In this scene we encounter a Savior who was refused lodging so that heaven might be opened to us, not as temporary lodging but as our eternal home. So maybe it would be better to say “there was no room for them in the inn, so that He could prepare a room for you in Him.” Jesus comforted his disciples some thirty years later with the words,

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going. John 14:1-3

 

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