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700 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah wrote: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14). This prophesy was fulfilled when Jesus was born to a virgin named Mary. The angel Gabriel was sent by God to tell her: “you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:31). Mary’s fiancé Joseph was understandably troubled by the news that she, a virgin, would have a child. Therefore, God sent an angel to calm him by saying that Mary “will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mat 1:21). While the virgin birth may seem mysterious, it is a marvelous truth that reveals to us that Jesus is God with us (Immanuel) who will save us from our sin. Why is this important? Consider:
- Jesus is human. The virgin birth reveals to us that Jesus is a human being because He was born from a woman. John told us Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory” (John 1:14). John also testified about Jesus: “that…which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands” (1 John 1:1). Jesus ate food, walked on land, sailed in boats, and slept. Being a human being is important because Jesus is our faithful brother (Heb 2:11) who understands our weakness (Heb 4:15).
- Jesus is Divine. Jesus is God’s Son. The Holy Spirit’s “overshadowing” is not sexual but harkens back to God’s creative power in Genesis 1:2. The Holy Spirit miraculously produced the baby within Mary. The virgin birth reveals to us that Jesus is God the Son who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). God the Son has existed for all eternity and intentionally entered into this world in order to bring salvation from sin. Philippians 2:6-7 tells us that Jesus “who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Jesus is a human being, but is a unique human being who is both fully God and fully man.
- Jesus is sinless. The virgin birth is important because it means that Jesus’ father is not Joseph but God. If Jesus’ father was Joseph and His mother was Mary, then Jesus would be just like us with a sinful nature inherited from Adam. Being God’s Son, Jesus does not have Adam’s sin nature and is able to perfectly obey with no sin. Being without sin, Jesus would not have to die and therefore can offer Himself as a sacrifice to take away the sin of others. John the Baptist knew this when he declared in John 1:29: “Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Paul, writing in 2 Corinthians 5:21 said: “For our sake [God the Father] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” When you are saved, you are saved from the wrath of God because it is taken by Jesus on the cross. Only a sinless sacrifice can bring salvation and that sacrifice is Jesus.
Some people refuse to believe in the virgin birth because they believe it is impossible. But the angel told Mary “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Believe that Jesus is virgin born and rejoice that it means Jesus is our perfect Savior.