Summary: Why do we hold to the Virgin Birth and what difference does it make?
In the TV show Thirtysomething Hope, a Christian, argues with her Jewish husband, Michael, about the holidays.
Michael exploded…. “Do you really believe an angel appeared to some teenage girl who then got pregnant without ever having sex and traveled on horseback to Bethlehem where she spent the night in a barn and had a baby who turned out to be the Savior of the world?”
There is something about the narrative of the virgin birth/conception that seems almost unnecessary and cumbersome. The whole story of Jesus, it seems, would be easier to swallow and have more credibility if it weren’t for this
Is it true?
Well, it was prophesied in the OT and therefore expected.
Church historians note that there was never a time that the church did NOT believe in the virgin birth. In fact, there was a sect known as the Ebionites who objected to the idea. How did the concept of the virgin birth arise so soon if it was not based on fact?
The fact that the writing of Gospels date back to only decades after the events ocurred demonstrate that there was no adequate time for the growth of a myth surrounding the birth of Christ. (compare that to the miraculous conception stories surrounding Buddha which began-5-10 centuries later!)
Even the Koran makes reference to it!
Q: Was it all really necessary, and is it crucial for me to believe it?
According to what we read here, you CANNOT be a Christian and deny this.
The Apostle’s Creed: "I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary"
Not only is it foundational for the Christian faith, but also for our own spiritual welbeing.
Why The Virgin Birth is Absolutely Necessary
A. To be a sign.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
In Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, a couple of Jedi Knights conclude that Anikan Skywalker must be the one the prophesies spoke of about the one who would bring balance to the Force. Why? One of the main reasons is because of the fact that he was miraculously conceived. Anikan only had a mother. Why did George Lucas find it necessary for Anikan to be born miraculously? To set him apart and make it obvious to the all that this was the One.
Greek mythology often refers to heroes being miraculously conceived (however, there would always be something bizaare about it like Zeus chucking a lightning bolt at the woman, or a god turning into a snake and coming to the woman; things that make it obvious that it is myth and not literal or historical)
Genesis 3:15 refers to the seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head (vs. the seed of the man)
What if Jesus wasn’t virgin born but came in the same way that everyone else does? How would we know that he was the Messiah promised?
God doesn’t want us groping in the dark, but wants us to know him
If the Virgin Birth would never have taken place, we would still be in doubt. Whereas some might see the Virgin Birth as the reason NOT to believe in Jesus, I could not believe in Jesus EXCEPT for the Virgin Birth! The Virgin Birth separates Jesus from all other historical figures.
Larry King was once asked the question, "If you could select any one person across all of history to interview, who would it be?" King said he would like to interview Jesus Christ.
"And what would you like to ask him?"
"I would like to know if he was virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me."
In other words, King would see this as THE evidence for Christ’s divinity and the historicity of his miracles, death and resurrection.
B. For our salvation.
The reason why Jesus was born of a virgin was because he didn’t come to simply be a prophet, example, teacher, leader but a savior/substitute
The name Mary was to give to the baby was Jesus. Why? Because "he will save his people from their sins" (Matt.1:21)
The Bible teaches that man’s essential problem is that he is alienated from God due to sin. That is why we are continually looking for satisfaction, purpose, fulfillment and peace. Man stands guilty before God as a law-breaker, and will inevitably be condemned unless ... he is somehow saved
In order for Jesus to be qualified as a true Savior, freeing us from our sins and restoring us back to God, two things must be true:
1. He has to be fully human -- since it is man who is guilty.