Summary: Christmas is all about kids. But there are far more significant reasons why God chose to send His savior through birth. The fact Jesus was born as a baby is vitally important in God’s plan. See why it is so important that Jesus was born as a a baby.
WHY A BABY?
The Christmas season is all about kids. This morning we have had a baby dedication, which as we discussed is much more a dedication of the parents. But Christmas is a wonderful time to focus on these precious babies. Christmas is the most fun when you are a child, especially a young child. The most fun for us as adults is shopping for and giving to our children and grandchildren.
The images of Christmas also surround children. The two most recognizable images of Christmas are Santa and the baby Jesus in the manger. Both of these are all about children. I believe this all begins and ends with the precious image of Jesus as a baby in the manger. But if you stop and think about it, it does seem to be a strange way to accomplish salvation – having Jesus come to earth as a baby.
This morning I want to explore with you this question: “Why a baby?”
Read Matthew 1:18-25. Why a baby?
Because of Prophecy
Here in Matthew, the bible describes for us the event of Jesus’ birth as a baby in Bethlehem. Jesus was born this way order to fulfill specific prophecies of His birth. The Old Testament contains more than three hundred specific prophecies regarding the person of Jesus and the events of His life. A number of these prophesies are fulfilled specifically in the birth of Jesus. For example, this passage points to at least 5 different facts of Jesus’ birth that fulfill prophesy. Jesus was a boy. Jesus was of the lineage of King David. Jesus was born of a virgin. Jesus would be the savior who saves people from sin. He will be named “Immanuel” because He is God who has come to be with us. In addition, the Bible tells us in Luke 2, that Jesus was born in a town called Bethlehem. This fulfilled a specific prophesy from the prophet Micah who lived in the same general time frame as Isaiah.
But this still begs the question “why a baby?” because God could have chosen some other way for Him to come. God intended to identify, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Jesus was the Christ – His anointed sacrifice for sins. God chose to present Jesus’ birth as a central point of these identifying prophecies because the birth of a baby cannot be faked, controlled, or manipulated.
Now we all know that babies come when they want to come. You cannot plan a birth and time it in such a way as to meet a series of specific prophesies. What are the chances that you can plan a birth, especially during that date and time, to insure it is a male child, from a specific family, was born in a specific town, on a date certain. Just these facts alone are impossible to control. The occurrence of these facts would give clear proof that Jesus was God’s planned Messiah because only God could have caused all of these prophesies to come true in the birth of this child.
Because of Humanity
Jesus came to be the Christ which is the anointed sacrifice for sin. The angel makes that clear to Joseph in verse 21. All of mankind has sinned. The Bible makes it clear that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission, or payment, of the debt of sin. In order for Jesus to die a death that would count as an effective sacrifice for human sin, Jesus had to be a human. By being born a baby from a human mother, there could not be any question of Him being made human flesh so that He could die a human death for human sin.
Because of Deity
The Bible also makes it abundantly clear that Jesus was the Son of God. In verse 20 the bible says that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit. He also pronounces the deity of the baby by describing His name as “God with us.” Jesus was both all God and all man. While He had to be human in order to properly pay the price for sin, Jesus was all God as well. The Bible says in Colossians 2:9, that the fullness of the God head dwelt bodily in Jesus. The book of John makes it clear throughout that Jesus was God as well as man. For example, in John 1:1 the Bible clearly states that Jesus was God. In verse 14, the Bible goes on to say that “the Word[Jesus] became flesh and dwelt among us.” The man Jesus was also the Son of God.
God designed His plan to have Jesus born as baby so He could establish His deity as well as His humanity. Matthew tells us Jesus was born of a virgin and conceived of the Holy Spirit. By having Jesus born as a baby, God could establish Jesus’ deity. The deity of Jesus proclaims His ability to live a sinless life because He was not tainted with the sin nature of Adam. It also proclaims His ability to defeat death. Jesus actually died a complete death in every human and medical sense. He also died a spiritual death as payment for our sins. But Jesus, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, had the power to conquer death through His resurrection. He had this power and used it to conquer death and sin. In order to fully accomplish all of salvation, Jesus had to be who He was. This fact is established by prophesying and then accomplishing His virgin birth.