When the angel informed young Joseph that what is conceived in Mary is of the Holy Spirit, he rocked Joseph’s world and saved his marriage. So much more than a fanciful religious tradition, the virgin birth is a profound truth that is essential to the Bible’s message. Below are three reasons why the virgin birth is nothing short of stunning and commands worship.
First, the obvious. God’s biological design is that babies are the result of a man and woman coming together. This can’t work with just a woman or just a man alone. God is not bound by His natural laws; the virgin birth is a plain example of God working the miraculous. God can do this because He alone is God!
Second, the virgin birth is not just a stand alone miracle: the entire script from Genesis to Revelation requires it. My childhood pastor reminded us that the Bible reveals the unfolding drama of redemption: God chose to live among us so one day He would die for us. You see, we need someone who is without sin to die for those of us with sin. The Bible declares that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin, for God’s holiness demands full payment. It would be noble for one of us to suffer in the place of others, but we first have to deal with our own sin, something we’re completely incapable of doing. Jesus bypassed the sinful line of Adam as the Holy Spirit supernaturally implanted Him in Mary’s womb. He was not born in sin as we were, and so is qualified to be our sin-bearer. Only God could write this script! He who knew no sin became sin for us, so we might become God’s righteousness in Christ. And bear in mind, the angel pronounced that the baby Jesus, recently implanted in newly expectant Mary, was holy. If He were just a fetus, why would God refer to Him as holy?
Third, the virgin birth affirms the unique authorship of the Bible: how do 66 separate little books form a coherent story line, written by 40+ authors over a period of 1500 years? Christmas is first mentioned in the Garden of Eden, where God declares that the Victorious One will come from the seed of a woman. In the Ancient Near East, posterity was measured by the seed of a man, not a woman. 750 years before Christ’s birth, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah foretold a sign to be given: a virgin will be with child. What a crazy, far-fetched statement! Imagine the shell shock when our teenage couple, Mary and Joseph, realized that this prophecy was playing out in their own lives! The Bible has a one-of- a-kind message: God loves people and is reconciling them to Himself. Only Immanuel, God with us, could stand in the gap for sinners. In the virgin birth, the unity of the Bible and its doctrine is fully realized.
The Christmas story is full of wonder and beauty. The Son of God was born to a lowly virgin, in a stable with animals, with the king on a witch hunt to stamp Him out. Wise men paid Him homage and the shepherds would never be the same. Don’t let the wonder of the angels’ celebration escape you this Christmas – God is amazing and His salvation of sinners is no less amazing! Merry Christmas!
- Pastor Colin