Its not just a great part of the Christmas story. Its not just a miracle. It is essential to the core of the Christian belief.
In the first chapter of the book of Luke we read the account of Gabriel’s announcement to Mary of the upcoming birth of Christ. Starting in verse 26 and going through verse 34 we read a part of this conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel. It starts out by pointing out that Mary was a virgin in verse 27. In verse 34 Mary questions how this can take place as she is a virgin and has never been with a man.
As the story goes the angel Gabriel explains to her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and the power of the Most High (God) will overshadow her. He then tells her the one to be born of her will be the Son of God.
This is truly a great miracle and such a beautiful part of the Christmas story. But is it more than that? Is there an eternal importance to the fact that a virgin would give birth to the Messiah, as foretold by Isaiah hundreds of years earlier (Isaiah chapter 7)?
The virgin birth is critical to the core of the Christian belief. The Messiah, Christ, was the Lamb of God. He was the sacrifice for our sins. He stood in as the sacrifice for our sins. He took the punishment and the stain of our sins. To be the sacrifice that could take away our sins and provide us redemption he must be the spotless Lamb, the Lamb without blemish. He had to be sinless. This sinlessness was more than just a matter of not “committing” sins as we tend to look at sin. Sin is much more than a deed or an act. Long before sin becomes an act it is an attitude. The attitude and ultimately the acts of sin come forth from the nature of sin. Sin is not just wrongdoing or even wrong thinking, it is the nature that is within all humanity.
this nature was passed down from generation to generation from Adam. We, each and everyone, inherit the nature of sin. See Romans chapter 7 (especially the last half) for a good picture. The Messiah, the Christ, had to deliver us not only from our acts of sin, but our nature of sin. Likewise, to be without sin, as He was described, he had to be without the nature of sin. How could He be without the nature of sin? this was accomplished by the miracle we call the virgin birth. The nature of sin was not passed on to Christ as He was conceived of the Holy Spirit.
The virgin birth is not just a great part of the Christmas story and is more than just a miracle. It is an integral part of God’s plan of salvation.