“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
Wait! What? A virgin? What in the world? How can that be and what exactly are the implications of such a thing?
The virgin birth of Christ is one of the foundational cornerstones of our faith – it’s even in the Apostle’s Creed – and if you’re going to believe in Jesus, you have to believe in the virgin birth too. But why is it important?
The virgin birth allowed God to accomplish these two crucial things:
- Have Jesus be born as a human being
- Have Jesus be born as a human being without a sin nature
This concept can most easily be understood from the Genesis narrative of creation. Genesis 2:7 says:
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.
To Adam and Eve, God gave dominion over the earth and all of its affairs, but one thing God did not give them was a sin nature. They possessed the ability to disobey God willfully, but sinning was not the driving force of their lives.
Once they disobeyed, the first Adam cast the lot for all future humans to be born with a sin nature. For God to send us a covenant representative who was qualified to stand on our behalf, he had to be like us, human. Equally as important, he had to live up to the requirements of the law, so he had to be born perfect, as the first Adam was, without a sin nature. There was no other option but for Jesus to be born from a virgin, so the sin nature could be bypassed.
But exactly how did God accomplish this? Again, let’s look in Genesis for the answer.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man He made into a woman…Genesis 2:21-22
The man, Adam, was initially created from the dust of the earth and from the breath of God. The woman, Eve, was formed from Adam’s substance, not from another handful of dirt or another breath from God. She was of the same dirt and breath as Adam was, not from anything different.
Subsequently, every human on the face of the planet has also been formed from the original dirt and breath, except for Jesus.
But, Jesus was still created from the same dirt as the rest of us because He had to be like us! He could not be created from different dirt because that would’ve disqualified Him from representing us in the covenant.
God used Mary’s womb as the dirt to form Jesus, but instead of conceiving Jesus through the sin-laden seed of a man, He bypassed the sin nature by breathing upon Mary to conceive Jesus. Just as He breathed on the dirt of Adam to conceive life, He breathed on Mary and conceived Jesus.
What an amazing and clever miracle!
Let’s talk about it!
What part of this scenario do you love the most?
Does this explanation of the virgin birth strengthen your faith?