Andrew Peterson has written a beautiful Christmas song about the birth of Jesus the first line of which goes like this: “It was not a silent night, there was blood on the ground.” The birth of Jesus was not a precious moments scene. It was real. The Lord humbled himself and became like us in order to save us.
Listen to R. Kent Hughes’s description of the way it would have been:
If we imagine that Jesus was born in a freshly swept, county fair stable, we miss the whole point. It was wretched—scandalous! There was sweat and pain and blood and cries as Mary reached up to the heavens for help. The earth was cold and hard. The smell of birth mixed with the stench of manure and acrid straw made a contemptible bouquet. Trembling carpenter’s hands, clumsy with fear, grasped God’s Son slippery with blood—the baby’s limbs waving helplessly as if falling through space—his face grimacing as he gasped in the cold and his cry pierced the night.
My mother groaned, my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt.
(Taken from Hughes’s commentary on Luke, volume 1, pg. 83)