Is There a Deeper Meaning behind the Virgin Birth?

Do you ever wonder why God sent his son as a tiny zygote in the womb of a teenage virgin?

The story is totally bizarre and, quite frankly, outlandish without some context.

I'm not questioning the virgin birth; I'm convinced it's true. But you could see how someone from the outside might consider the story mere fable.

Anuja Mary

Nevertheless one can be convinced of the veracity of an event without in the least understanding its cause. Take, for instance, NBC's television program, The Voice, in which singers compete for a cash prize and a record deal with Universal Music Group.* I know the show exists, but I can't for the life of me explain why.

*At least that’s what Wikipedia tells me.

Still, why didn't Jesus appear as a grown man on earth? Why didn't he come from the sky and boldly announce his arrival?

Many valid answers exist to this question, and no one but God alone can fully resolve the question, but I'd like to posit one answer.

The Incarnation Was the Fulfillment of Creation

Jesus came to be the fulfillment of God's handiwork.

Mankind, made in God's image, was the crown of creation. God saved the best for last, as it were, creating humans on the sixth day and resting on the seventh.

But as you know, we humans mucked it up. This did not come as a surprise to God; he knew it would happen. So why create us in the first place? God created us so that he could share his love with other beings. He didn’t need us; He wasn’t lonely. In fact, God was in an eternal loving relationship prior to creation in the form of the holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

That’s why in Genesis we read, “Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness'" (1:26).

The “us” refers to the Trinity. Not multiple gods, but three in one.

But I digress. God wanted to share his love with beings bearing his image. But in order for one to love, he or she must have the ability to choose to love. Therefore, free will comes into play. But for us to have any amount of free will, we must have the ability to choose wrong. And eventually every one of us chooses to do the wrong thing. As Paul wrote:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

So even before creating a single molecule, God, being omniscient, laid forth a plan for a savior--Jesus Christ. Jesus would be the perfect representation of humanity, and being without blemish, would serve as a sacrifice in our stead.

But why as a baby and from a virgin?

This is where it really gets cool. First, let’s back up even more, prior to creation.

Jesus Wasn’t the First Virgin Birth

Before we dive too deep, I want to give credit to author and speaker Vince Vitale for sparking the idea behind this piece. While my thoughts are tangential to Vitale’s, the article you are reading now would not exist were it not for his thoughtful piece called, Everyone Believes in a Virgin Birth. I recommend you check it out; I think you’ll find it engaging.

Prior to creation, matter did not exist.

It’s not as if a bunch of atoms and molecules were floating around in space, waiting to be formed into stars and planets.

No, God created the universe ex nihilo, a fancy term that simply means out of nothing. Out of nothing: light. Out of nothing: sky. Out of nothing: land, sea, plants, sun, moon, stars, earth, animals and so on. Prior to creation, the material world did not exist.

Is this so dissimilar to the virgin birth of Jesus? Women do not conceive without sperm meeting egg. Out of nothing, an embryo took form in Mary’s womb. Where once there was a void, the Spirit came upon Mary and formed a fetus ex nihilo.

So you see, the incarnation of Jesus was the fulfillment of creation. Where we, God’s creation, messed everything up, God sent Jesus, his incarnation, so that he could fulfill his purpose for humanity: to enter into a loving relationship with him.

How do we do that? Through a process of re-creation. Jesus said that one must be born again in order to restore his broken relationship with the father. Paul said in Christ we are new creations (see 2 Corinthians 5).

This type of re-creation is only possible because of the incarnation of the Christ, born of a virgin in a cave and placed in a feeding trough in Bethlehem, Judea. This is why, upon the arrival of Jesus, the angel said to the shepherds: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

Great joy because, through the virgin birth, all people can be reconciled to their maker. Jesus came to provide a way for humanity to be saved from their sin. It all started in a manger and would culminate in the death and resurrection of Jesus at Calvary.

And if you've ever wondered about the connection between the Old Testament Scriptures and the New Testament, you might enjoy my free guide to the Old Testament called, How to Read the Old Testament without Getting Lost or Dozing Off.

Genesis begins with the "virgin" creation of the universe; out of nothing, something: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The New Testament begins with the virgin birth of Jesus, through whom God can recreate us.

This re-creation and the purpose of Jesus's ministry is best understood when viewed through the lens of the Old Testament. But if you're anything like me you have, at times, struggled with reading the first portion of the Scriptures. You get to Leviticus and you tap out. I've been there!

That's why I put together this guide. I want you to be able read through the highlights of the Old Testament so you can absorb the overarching story of God's holiness, grace, mercy, and justice without having to sift through genealogies and censuses.

I don't recommend skipping these for the rest of your life, but this guide is a great place to start diving deeper into the OT. Grab your free copy below. Just enter your email address, and I'll send it your way.

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