Originally published December 25, 2017
The message of the gospel is that it is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). That we have sinned, that the relationship with God has been broken and that there is nothing we can do on our own to restore that relationship with a Holy God.
We contribute nothing positive to our salvation. Our good deeds count for nothing. The only works that save men are the works of Christ.
And it’s fitting that even in his birth, in his incarnation, we see an event which could not have happened without divine intervention. The savior of the world coming into the world required a work of God. Humanity could not have made its own savior.
Jesus’ birth, his death and resurrection, and everything in between represent a divine, heavenly ministry on earth.
Jesus was born of a virgin. Something that might be a stumbling block for some.
How can a virgin be pregnant?
How can a dead man live again?
The virgin birth is the beginning of the story of Jesus on earth, and if we can’t accept that miracle, how does one progress in the story any further? For it was a ministry where Jesus fed multitudes, walked on water, calmed storms, healed the sick, and rose from the dead.
And it is his victory over death and the confidence in that by which we too can have a confidence in eternal life with Christ.
Furthermore, the virgin birth matters because in it, we see the two natures of Christ: human and divine.
It matters that Jesus is God because he was worthy to die for our sins. If he had merely been human, he would not have been able to pay such a price. And because he is human, Jesus is able to be our substitute and representative.
The mighty God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, who holds all things together. The awesomely Holy and glorious God came into the world.
We could not have made our own savior.
We could not have made our own way to God.
And may his incarnation, his coming into the world, be a reminder of that.
Because the baby was born in that manger in Bethlehem, but when he grew up, he would lay down his life to forgive sins. It was why he came. It was the purpose of his ministry. Reconciling sinners to God.
Many people in our society just like to think of Jesus as someone who was a good moral teacher. But this passage in the Bible says that he was miraculously conceived of the Holy Spirit, that he’s God with us and that he came to save people.
That little baby’s primary purpose for coming into the world was not to tell you to be good.
It was to die for you because you weren’t.
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Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.