Scripture reading: Luke 1:31 & 34-35
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. Then Mary said to the angel, ‘how can this be, since I have not known a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, therefore that Holy One born of you will be called the Son of God.”
Have you ever considered why the virgin birth of Jesus is important?
There are three reasons that come to mind immediately. The virgin birth of Jesus is the typological apex of all the Old Testatment miracle births. In Genesis 21, an angel announces a coming child to a withered, barren, 90-year-old woman named Sarah. In Genesis 30, Jacob’s barren wife Rachael gives birth to Joseph. In Exodus 1, God delivers the baby Moses at his birth. In Judges 13, an angel tells Manoah’s old and barren wife she is to bear a son named Samson. In 1 Samuel 1, God tells barren Hannah she is to bear a son whom she names Samuel. In Luke 1, Gabriel announces to Zecharias and barren Elizabeth that they will have a son who they are to name John (the Baptist). And finally Gabriel announces to Mary, a virgin, the greatest of all miraculous births, the birth of Jesus.
Second, in the account of the virgin birth of Christ, the veracity of the gospel is at stake. People will talk about Jesus as a moral example but very quickly shy away from the miracle of his being born of a virgin. Yet if Matthew and Luke’s discussions of this event are wrong or misguided, then all the New Testament is in question!
But most importantly for you and me, God cannot forgive your sin nor grant you everlasting life unless his son was born of a virgin! Christ was born of a human, of our form, of our substance, subject to our pains and trials and even had to learn obedience to his father (Heb 5:7-8). As a human, he was able to experience death (Isaiah 53:10). Consequently, he can truly and justly represent all his people at the cross. As one conceived by the Holy Spirit, he also serves as your sinless substitute (Romans 5:15-19).
Yet Jesus is not just the son of Mary – he’s the son of God, infinite in his being. Sins committed against an infinite being take on an infinite quality. Thus, only an infinite person could make an infinitely sufficient sacrifice to cover sins done against an infinitely holy God.
The God man, Christ Jesus, is the only one who could provide a sacrifice sufficient enough and lasting enough to turn away God’s wrath forever (Heb. 10:11-12 and 14). You never need worry about his benefit running out. Because Christ was born of a virgin by the spirit of God, his obedience is infinitely satisfying to his father and his sacrifice is infinitely efficient. And that is good news for all who trust in him!
Henry Beaulieu is associate pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Statesboro.