The Miracle of the Incarnation
By Dr. David Reagan
All year round, I keep a small manger scene on my desk at home to remind me daily of the miracle of the incarnation.
To me, it is simply mind-boggling to think that God loved Mankind enough, despite our sinful wretchedness, to send His precious Son to die for our sins so that we might be reconciled to our Creator. What love! What amazing grace!
The virgin birth of Jesus has to be considered one of the greatest miracles of history, together with the resurrection. Yet, philosophers and scientists scoff at the virgin birth as nothing but a “childish myth.” Jewish leaders, from the earliest of times, have written it off as “a cruel hoax.” Saddest of all, many modern day Christian theologians contend that it is “a non-essential legend.”
Today, the virgin birth is flagrantly denied by professors at many Christian seminaries. In fact, I would venture to say that it is the most ridiculed doctrine in the Christian faith. It is usually dismissed as nothing but a “johnny-come-lately myth” conjured up by a bunch of ignorant shepherds and fishermen in the First Century.
God fully anticipated these attacks, and as part of His refutation, He saw to it that most of the information in the Bible about the virgin birth was written by a highly educated man named Luke who was anything but an uneducated shepherd or fisherman. He was, in fact, a medical doctor who fully understood how a baby was conceived.
Why is the virgin birth so essential to the Christian faith? I would argue that there are three reasons.
1. First, it relates to the integrity of the Bible as God’s Word. The Bible says point-blank that Jesus was born of a virgin. If that is not true, then what can we believe in the Bible?
If what it says about the birth of Jesus is fiction, then how can we believe what it says about His death and resurrection?
2. Second, it relates to the integrity of Jesus as Messiah. In order for Jesus to be our Savior, three conditions had to be met:
a) He had to be Human. No angel could die for our sins.
b) He had to be Divine. A mere mortal could not bear the infinite price that had to be paid for our sins.
c) He had to be Sinless. A sinner could not die for the sins of others.
The virgin birth guaranteed the fulfillment of all three of these conditions:
a) Because He was born of Mary, He was Human.
b) Because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was Divine.
c) Because He was born holy, without a sin nature, He was qualified to serve as our Savior.
3. Finally, the concept of the virgin birth was not some afterthought. It was clearly prophesied hundreds and even thousands of years before Jesus was born. The very first Messianic prophecy in the Bible is found in Genesis 3:15 where we are told that the Messiah will be born of the seed of woman.
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be born of a virgin and that He would be God in the flesh (Isaiah 7:14). Jeremiah reinforced this in his prophecies (Jeremiah 31:22). And an angel of God confirmed it to both Mary (Luke 1:26-37) and Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25).