Monday, December 6, 2010

God & Man - A Miracle Birth

I love this time of year when we celebrate Jesus' birth.  Even though the exact month and date of His birth is unknown, it is still a very special time of the year because most of the world (even other religions) at least acknowledge His coming.  But of course, to followers of Christ, one of the greatest attributes of His coming is the miracle of His birth!  I want to encourage you to focus on that more this year.  Because if you do, the significance of His coming and His sacrifice will mean more to you.

The Book of Hebrews is full of powerful encouragement to remain true to our calling.  But Hebrews also explains to us why Jesus' birth was miraculous.  In Chapter One the writer calls Jesus the "Firstborn".  Jesus was the First One, to be born of the Holy Spirit on the earth.  (See Luke Ch. 1)  Hebrews 2: 14 says, "Therefore, since the children (mankind) share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same..."  (Hebrews 2: 17), "Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation (satisfaction) for the sins of the people."  Jesus was God, the Son, but in order to be touched by our humanity, He had to become one of us.  In  order for Him to be an effective high priest...He had to "be made like us".  For this to happen...He had to be born of a woman.

So how could Jesus be born of a woman and still be God?  The answer lies in the Chapter One of Luke where the angel Gabriel explains how Jesus would be conceived of the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary.  (See Abstinence and the Supernatural.)  In Isaiah 7:14 this is prophesied many years earlier, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (God with us)."  When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce the news, Mary reminds Gabriel that she was a virgin and wanted an explanation.  Gabriel said the the Holy Spirit would come upon her, and the power of the Most High would overshadow her.  And for that reason, the Holy Child would be called the Son of God.  Amazing!  Jesus' father could not be of the earth, because all flesh had been tainted since the fall of Adam and Eve in the beginning.  The truth is, Jesus was born of a woman and He was born of the Holy Spirit.  That's why Hebrews calls Him the "Firstborn among many brothers."

Jesus came to be the sacrifice for our sins.  However, the sacrifice had to be sinless...without spot, blemish, or sin.  No animal or human being could come close to qualifying.  But...if our sinless God became one of us He could!  Listen to the words of Hebrews 4:14 - 15,  "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."  Jesus, our High Priest can sympathize with us because He became one of us.  This year as we celebrate His birth and His coming to the earth, let's focus a little more on the miracle of His birth.  No other religion came lay claim to the truth that their god was born of man and god.  Only those who follow after Jesus Christ can do so!  What a substantial, faith-building miracle!  The miracle of His birth!

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