This time of year we celebrate the Virgin Birth of Christ. One of the reasons we believe in the Virgin Birth has to do with the Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 which says: 14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Then in the New Testament we have the fulfillment in Matthew 1:23 which says “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” It is my belief that Matthew here is making a reference back to Isaiah 7:14 which is a good reason to understand that this is a prophecy about the coming Messiah who Matthew contents and whom I believe is Jesus.
So you might wonder today, what does this have to do with me? Sure the Bible in the Old Testament says in a prophecy that a virgin would give birth and then in the New Testament we see that Mary is a virgin and gives birth but again what does that have to do with me today in December of 2011? What difference does this make in my life. Let me share with you five reasons why I feel this is important to us today.
First, the virgin birth was necessary to fulfill Old Testament prophecy that we looked at today. Isaiah 7:14 predicts that when the Messiah shows up, he will be born of a virgin. If a prediction is made in the Bible and it does not come true then it calls into question the whole Word of God. In other words, it helps us trust the validity of the Bible as being true which we see is the case here.
Second, the virgin birth emphasizes both Christ’s humanity and deity. Christ was both since He was the unique God-man. He was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. The fact that Christ was born of a woman and not a man which we see in Genesis 3:15 and Galatians 4:4 emphasizes His humanity, and the supernatural element of His virgin birth emphasizes His deity. So today we have in Jesus someone who is both God and man. Since Jesus is one hundred percent man he can understand what we go through in this life. Our God understand us.
Third, Christ’s virgin birth emphasizes His eternality. Christ has always existed. There never was a time in which He was not. Had Christ experienced a natural conception, He would have had a beginning point. Yet the eternal Christ had no beginning point. This means when we worship Christ, we are worshipping the eternal God, the only one who deserves our praise and worship. We are worshipping the One who was, who is, and is to come!
Fourth, the virgin birth was necessary in order to maintain Christ’s sinlessness. The Bible indicates that Christ was the only sinless man to ever live. If Christ had a biological father, then the sin nature, which is passed down to all of us, would also have been passed down to Him at the point of conception. Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and therefore the sin nature was not passed to Him. We have a sinless God whom we worship. We worship a perfect God!
Fifth, the virgin birth was necessary in order to protect Christ’s bodily atonement. Only an eternal God could pay the eternal penalty for man’s sin. Christ’s virgin birth protects His eternality. Also, only a perfect substitute could pay the penalty for man’s sin. God will only accept a perfect sacrifice in the place of the guilty which is all of us. Christ’s virgin birth protects His sinlessness. Therefore, the virgin birth protected both Christ’s eternality and sinlessness. Both of these elements are required for Christ to atone for the world’s sin debt. It affects us today because we who believe in Christ do not have to carry our sins around because Christ has atoned or died in our place. Christ the perfect one gave himself for us so that we could have eternal life!
The Virgin Birth is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas story and I see it as so important. Here again is why I see it as so important: the Virgin birth shows us that the Bible is true, Christ understands us because he is one of us, Christ is the eternal God, Christ is perfect, and because he was virgin born he was able to die in our place for our sins. The Virgin birth makes all the difference in the world to us today!
What is your favorite part of the Christmas story? Can you think of another reason that makes the Virgin Birth important to us in 2011?