Born in Bethlehem, Living in Our Hearts

From Eric Metaxas:

Tyrants ancient and modern have tried to erase any sign of Jesus. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

If you ever find yourself in Bethlehem of Judea, there’s one attraction you shouldn’t miss. First, you’d need to stoop low enough to pass through the four-foot-high Door of Humility. From there, you’d make your way down a spiraling stone staircase to find a small grotto in the bedrock lined with marble and adorned with luxurious tapestries. In the center of that little cave, attached to the floor, is a 14-pointed silver star and an inscription in Latin which reads, “Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary.”

As you can imagine, the Church of the Nativity is a busy place these days. Over the course of a year, as many as 2 million visitors pass through this shrine to the birthplace of Jesus Christ. This wasn’t always the case, though. For over 200 years, from the 2nd to the 4th centuries, this grotto was intentionally obscured with the purpose of wiping it off the face of the earth. So how do we know that this now not-so-humble grotto is actually the birthplace of Christ? For that, we have a determined enemy of God to thank.

Beginning in 132 A.D., the Roman Emperor Hadrian quashed an insurrection from a would-be messiah, Bar-Kokhba. To prevent future revolts, Hadrian expelled all the Jews from Jerusalem and paganized Jewish and Christian holy sites in the area. He set up a temple to Venus on the site of the Holy Sepulcher and cleared out the grotto of the nativity in Bethlehem. And in its place, he built a shrine to Adonis.

Read more: Breakpoint

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