Monday, December 23, 2013

don't miss the point of the virgin birth

This time of year the virgin birth of Jesus is often discussed, for obvious reasons. I want to offer an observation that I think sometimes gets missed in this conversation. I think the entire reason for the virgin birth is often overlooked. 

I remember Dr. Craigen in my Systematic Theology class speaking often of Jesus “entering the stream of humanity.” In my understanding, the virgin birth is not so much about his sinlessness (though he certainly was) as it is about his eternality. Jesus is the uncreated one. He always was. He was not conceived in the way other humans are. He stepped from heaven into the stream of humanity through the womb of a virgin. The virgin birth teaches, undeniably, the eternality of Jesus Christ. The sinless, eternal one chose to humble himself and step into the womb of a young woman.  

What do we lose if we give up the virgin birth? We effectively sabotage the vehicle that God uses to enter planet earth. If we deny the virgin birth, our understanding of who Jesus is will never be accurate or adequate. If someone finds the virgin birth unbelievable, my guess is they've had issues from Genesis 1 through Matthew. God specializes in impossible (miraculous). Mary understood this. She believed Gabriel. "For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Lk 1.37-38)


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