The significance of Christmas – Part 5
The Biblical revelation of Jesus’ virgin conception and birth is commonly opposed by liberal scholars and some cults. But the revelation in Mat 1 and Luke 1 is clear and unequivocal.
(1) The importance of the virgin birth cannot be overemphasised. In order for our Redeemer to qualify to pay for our sins and bring salvation, He must be, in one person, fully human, sinless and fully divine (Heb 7:25-26). The virgin birth satisfies all three of these requirements. (a) The only way Jesus could be born a human being was to be born of a woman. (b) The only way He could be sinless was to be conceived by the Holy Spirit (1:20; cf. Heb 4:15). (c) The only way He could be divine was to have God as His Father. As a result, His conception was not by natural but by supernatural means: “that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ is therefore revealed to us as one divine person with two natures—divine and sinless human.
Evidence of Jesus Humanity
Jesus was fully human. He was not partially human nor did He function at times as a human and at times as God nor did He merely appear to be human. He was at once both man and God. Christ took upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature, identifying Himself completely with mankind. The evidence for Jesus’ humanity in Scripture is abundant. He displayed physical symptoms that all humans experience: fatigue (John 4:6), sleep (Matt. 8:24), hunger (Matt. 21: 18), and suffering (Luke 22:43- 44). Jesus also experienced the emotional reactions of mankind: compassion (Luke 7:13), weeping (Luke 19:41), anger and indignation (Mark 3:5), grief (Matt. 26:37), and joy (John 15: 11). He claimed limited knowledge of a future event (Mark 13:32).
These physical and emotional traits, along with others mentioned in the Gospels, demonstrate that the NT everywhere assumes Jesus’ real and full humanity. Yet Jesus was not just a real man; He was also a unique person. Though really human, Jesus differed from all other people in two ways. First, He was born to a virgin; He had no human father. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb (Matt. 1:18-25). Second, unlike any other person, Jesus was without sin. He claimed to be sinless (John 8:46) and there is never a record of His confessing sin, though He told us to confess ours (Matt. 6:12). Other biblical writers ascribe sinlessness to Jesus. Paul said that Jesus became sin for us but that He personally knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus never sinned (Heb. 4: 15) and Peter affirmed that Jesus the righteous died for the unrighteous (1 Pet. 3:18).
Evidence of Jesus Deity
“My Lord and my God” (Jn 20:28). The Scripture declare that Jesus is God. This is the foundation of the Christian faith and is of utmost importance for our salvation. Without Christ being divine, He could not have made atonement for the sins of the world. The deity of Jesus Christ is shown by the following:
Divine names are given to Him in Scripture: (a) God (20:28; Is 9:6; Rom 9:5; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8); (b) the Son of God (5:25; Mat 16:16-17; 8:29; 27:40,43; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 22:70); (c) the first and the last (Rev 1:17; 2:8; 22:13); (d) the Alpha and the Omega (Rev 1:8; 22:13); (e) the beginning and the end (Rev 22:13); (f) the Holy One (Hos 11:9; Acts 3:14); (g) the Lord (Luke 2:11; Acts 4:33; 9:17; 16:31); (h) Lord of all and Lord of glory (Ps 24:8-10; Acts 10:36; 1 Cor 2:8).
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