Monday, December 04, 2006

Pictures of the Nativity

If you are looking for pictures of the 'Nativity', click on one of the links below:

New pictures of the Nativity: Part one.
New pictures of the Nativity: Part two.
Christmas Jigsaw Powerpoint.
Wisemen powerpoint.
Nativity powerpoint.
Nativity in 3D powerpoint.

As I write this post it's early December, so I thought I'd add a post with a Christmas theme! below are a few interesting facts and thoughts about the 'Christmas story' that might be helpful to all you Bible illustrators, or maybe those preparing a Christmas sermon.

Why Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh?
Gold was a royal gift given to kings, or in this case the 'King of Kings'.
Frankincense was used by priests, reminding us that the Lord Jesus was to become our 'Great High Priest'. Like Melchisedic, He was to be both a Priest and king.
Myrrh was an embalming spice used in the burial of the dead, reminding us that Jesus came for a purpose, to die as a 'sacrificial lamb' for the sins of the world.

Most modern scholars agree that Mary was only around 14 years old when she gave birth to the Lord Jesus. This would have made her around 47 years old at the time of the crucifixion. Both the 'Jesus of Nazareth' series, and the new film, 'The Nativity Story' , correctly show Mary as a young teen.

Swaddling clothes
This was an eastern custom whereby a baby was bound with long strips of cloth, in the same manner as an Egyptian mummy! The arms and legs of a baby bound in this way were quite rigid!
Strips of cloth were also wrapped across the babies chin and forehead, so that only his face could be seen.

We three kings?
Actually, the wise men were not kings, and there were probably more than three of them!
Some experts believe they were of Persian origin.The wise men were members of the 'Magi' which was an ancient religious order that worshiped the elements, (fire, water, air etc). It is possible that the wise men attributed deity to the star which they were following. If this is true, this would not be the first time that God used a lifeless object of worship to point men back to Himself! I'm thinking of the image of Dagon that fell prostrate before the Ark of the Lord. (1st Samuel ch5).

Bethlehem star
I once read an article in the 'Readers Digest' by the famous Astronomer Patrick Moore, concerning 'The Star of Bethlehem'. He studied each Bible verse that mentioned the star, and compared them with the very latest information we have about the stars, to see if the behavior of this star could be explained.
The interesting thing was that even though there are only a few verses that mention the star, these few verses showed that this star behaved like no other!
He concluded the article with the words, " The Star of Bethlehem remains a mystery!"

Related posts:
New pictures of the Nativity
Nazareth or Egypt?
Drawing Angels