The Virgin Birth
Christmas is almost here but what does it mean? To the world, it means a time to spend, spend and spend. A time drink far too much alcohol and take a few days off work. But what does it mean for Christians?
When Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of the Garden of Eden there were huge negative consequences. A barrier arose between God and man. Diseases, crimes of all sorts, moral decay, political and financial turmoil became part of life, and death entered the scene.
However, God immediately revealed a plan to send a redeemer. He said to Satan “‘I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Our redeemer would have to have two principal attributes. 1) He had to be wholly divine because only God had the power and authority to defeat Satan and 2) he had to be wholly human in order to be bear the judgment of sin and to die a sacrificial death because only flesh can die.
Jesus fulfilled those criteria. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. As a result, he was wholly human and wholly divine. The Gospel writers make that very plain. So he was, in fact, God with us. Jesus is the only person who was older than his mother but as old as his father.
There are many passages in the New Testament that show that Jesus is God with skin on. Because of that, it means we can know exactly what God is like. How God thinks and feels and acts. Our earthly fathers should never be the model. Jesus, as revealed in the Gospels, is the only true model.
Philippians 2:6-7 tells that Jesus ‘Who being in very nature God…made himself of no reputation… and came in the likeness of men.’ Astoundingly this means there was a point in time when God became a single cell. So he started out in life as we did and grew up as we did. In God’s plan, he became a second Adam so that he could restore what our father Adam had lost. Because he lived a sinless life he was able to pay the price of our sin by becoming sin for us. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
In 1 Corinthians 15 21-22 we’re told that ‘As in Adam all men die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ And in verses 44-49 we again see the role of the second Adam ‘The first man Adam became a living being…made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly man.’ That is abounding grace in action.
Let’s celebrate this Christmas the great things God has done. Because Christ came we have a future and a hope. Global warming may be a sign of the times but the message of Christmas is that God has a great future planned for the Earth when in essence Eden will be restored.