Why is the Virgin Birth Important?
Christmas is a time of stories: Santa Claus, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, and of course, my favorite, Elf. These are the stories that make the season fun. However, they are NOT the reason for the season.
The real reason we celebrate Christmas is the Nativity story. While too many in our society may believe that the Christmas story is fictional, just like all the others, it is very important that, as Christians, we recognize this simply isn’t true.
We must remember that Mary and Joseph weren’t “characters” in a story—they were real people. There really was a census, and that poor woman really did have to make a long journey at the height of her pregnancy. Angels really did appear to shepherds, and a virgin really did give birth to a son. These are literal, historical facts. Even more, they lay the foundation for the Gospel message—especially the truth that Jesus was born of a virgin.
Why is this so important? Because the fact that Jesus was born of a literal virgin is fundamental to the truth that Jesus was more than just a nice man who taught good things.
Instead, the truth that Mary was a virgin who became pregnant when the Holy Spirit came upon her supports the truth that God took on the form of a man.
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.
And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’
But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’
And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’
And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.’” (Luke 1:26-35, ESV)
The last verse tells us why this fact is so important: “Therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.”
Jesus was 100% human, and He was 100% God. He was literally Emmanuel, God with us. (Isaiah 7:14)
The fact is that Jesus was not just a teacher like Mohammad or Gandhi. No, He is the literal Son of God. Because God wanted to create a way to heal the relationship that sin had broken between God and man, He gave His one and only Son so that everyone who believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Philippians 2:6-8 says this about Jesus:
“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (ESV)
This is why it is so important that, as followers of Christ, we completely reject the idea that the stories in the Bible cannot be taken literally: because each part of redemption’s story builds on the other parts.
When we remove the literal virgin birth, we lose the Deity of Jesus.
When we reject the fact that Jesus walked on the earth as God Incarnate, it invalidates the truth that His purpose was to die on the cross and rise again so that mankind could be saved from their sins.
This is the foundation of Christianity: God sent His Son to the earth to die on a cross, pay the price for our sin, and provide an opportunity for man to be reconciled to God.
A regular man, an average Joe, born from a normal man and woman, could not do this. Only a sinless man, completely human yet completely divine, could fulfill this destiny.
More than anything else, this is what we celebrate during the Christmas season: Deity coming to earth as a man to provide salvation to men and women.
The truth is that the nativity isn’t just a story. It is absolutely not a fairytale. It is legendary truth.
These events actually took place, just as the Bible described them. And they happened for a purpose: Because God loved humanity, He created a way to save us from the sin that destined us to eternity in Hell.
Because He loved us, He sent His Son. Just like the Bible says.
Memory Verse: 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, ESV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.