Part Two in this Christmas series from Teaching the Word Ministries:
Today we present the second of four devotional messages on the theme, “The Comfort of Christmas”. Read part one.
As we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us not forget that we also celebrate the cosmic significance of a miraculous conception.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son…” (Isaiah 7:14)
Why celebrate the birth of Jesus? We know from the Gospel writers that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus secured for His people a full and complete salvation. But what significance should we place upon His birth, other than that it marked the beginning of His life and work as the covenant representative of His people?
Ah, brother and sister, is not the answer to this query found in the text before us? Look again at these amazing and powerful words: God declared that He would give His people a sign, a supernatural event that was to seal the promise of His work of salvation and would demonstrate that God was about to begin His act of saving His people from their sins. And what is this sign? “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.”
Again, I say, what incredible words! A virgin, a chaste young woman who had never had intimate relations with a man, shall now conceive and give birth to a son? Indeed, we the readers must ask with Mary, how can this be seeing that she had not known a man up to this point? Ah, dear friends, as the angel said, with God, nothing is impossible. And so when we come to the New Testament Scriptures, the Gospel writers under the inspired leading of the Holy Spirit record for us the fulfillment of this prophecy when they write that Mary conceived a son and gave birth to Him, not through Joseph, her betrothed husband to be, but through the operation of the Holy Spirit. The miraculous conception and supernatural birth of Jesus was the sign of God’s deliverance of His people.
But I ask you, why did God perform this supernatural act of conception? Why should God go to such miraculous lengths to bring His son into the world to begin that work of salvation promised so many centuries earlier? Why not just raise up the Messiah from Joseph’s seed? Was God simply being over-dramatic in order to produce a sign with which to awe us into submission? Oh no, dear brother or sister, God does not act in such a whimsical manner.
When such questions come before us, let us turn again to Scripture for the answer. Remember what David said in the 51st Psalm? “In sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). And so it has been ever since the days of Adam: From generation to generation, the principle of corruption has been passed down through conception and birth, and every single person born of woman is a sinner.
But Jesus, who we read “is holy, harmless, undefiled” (Hebrews 7:26) did not receive that taint of sin. And why? Because though He was of the legal lineage of David through Joseph, yet He was not of Joseph’s physical seed, and therefore He did not carry the sin principle within His flesh. By this He was qualified to be the representative of His people: their representative in life by obeying the law of God perfectly, and their representative in death by taking their sins upon Himself on the cross – and in the resurrection, proving that He was God’s Son and the Messiah, who had kept the law, and provided a perfect sacrifice for sinners. Herein lies the significance of the virgin birth of our Lord!
So again, I ask you, why celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? First, His birth is a sign of God’s covenant faithfulness. But more than that, the significance of the birth of Jesus is that a new Holy Man was born; a man though of Adam’s flesh, yet not of Adam’s seed; the God-Man who would become the second Adam, the last Adam, and the One greater than Adam. And where Adam fell, this man, this God-Man named Jesus, would save His people from their sins because of a life that is holy, harmless and undefiled.
So as we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us not forget that it is not just a birth we celebrate, but a miraculous conception and the supernatural birth, which was the sign that God’s deliverance was at hand, and that salvation had come to His people. The promise of the ages was about to be fulfilled, and for this reason the angels sang for joy, the magi worshiped, and shepherds proclaimed the good news. Through the birth of this Infant, God now dwelled with man and had given the sign that the age of the promised New Covenant was about to begin.
Stephen M. Cope, a contributor to our Bible Knowledgebase, holds a B. A. in History and an M. A. in Church History from Bob Jones University and Seminary, and has completed most of the work for a Ph. D. in Church History and Theology. He currently lives in Taylors, South Carolina, and is seeking the Lord’s guidance concerning future ministry and service to Christ’s church.
TeachingtheWord Ministries www.teachingtheword.org
All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced in its entirety only,
for non-commercial purposes, provided that this copyright notice is included.
Article reprinted with kind permission from Teaching The Word Ministries.