Posts Tagged ‘holy spirit conception’

Luke 1:26-36 — “But how can this happen? I am a virgin!” A simple statement but, oh, such a complex one. It is at the core of our faith. Many of us think of the conception of Jesus as the part of the cute stuff of which Nativity Scenes are made of. However, it’s not just cute. It is the cornerstone on which our faith is built. It is as necessary as it is cute.

Most assuredly, if you were trying to build a man-made religion, you certainly could have come up with a better way to bring your central character into the world. But this is how God chose to intervene into human history. This entry into the world in this way is so utterly important that we often miss its significance. Mary was a virgin. It means that her, as they say on a favorite movie of mine, mysterious lady parts were pure and untouched. They had not been defiled by the entry of a man into her body. No semen had ever been deposited inside her by a man. She was pure and undefiled by man. Therefore, it had not been touched by anything with a sin nature. Into this environment, Jesus was conceived. The perfection of God gestating a perfect and untouched environment. Jesus, who had no sin in Him, was not touched by sin as He was developing in Mary’s virgin womb. Sin cannot exist in God’s presence. Therefore, for God’s Son, to enter into the world in this way, Mary HAD to be a virgin. Some believe that she stayed a virgin (so that she could be elevated to high status) but based on what I see in Scripture, Mary became a wife and bore Joseph other children. Debates can swirl around that and you can decide as to whether it is a hill to die on or not. However, the fact that Mary was a virgin at the time she conceived her first child is, indeed, a hill to die on. She had to be pure and chaste because the Perfect One was to develop inside her.

It all starts here in this pristine womb. If Jesus was to be the sinless man, he must start in an environment untouched by man with his sinful nature passed down from generation to generation from Adam, the first man. God had to bypass the normal way into which humans are born. It was a tainted system and it still is. Although when a husband and wife make love and create a child, it is a beautiful, wonderful thing. A child is created. But each one of us are sinners. Thus, we pass our sin nature onto our children and they pass it on to their children. It is the curse of Adam’s original disobedience to the Lord. In order for God’s theology of Jesus being the sinless sacrifice, the culmination of the Old Testament sacrificial system, that takes our place for our sin and makes us cleansed from our sins, He had to be sinless in every way. That includes the manner in which He was conceived and where He was to develop into a viable child. Jesus’ sacrificial death is based in the OT sacrificial system which was to teach us about Christ. In the OT sacrificial system, animals (as perfect as could be found in a world fallen because of sin) were sacrificed to act as temporary atonement for sins. Since the animals were not quite complete perfection, they could not be the permanent atonement for sins. Jesus was the answer. The OT system pointed to and foreshadowed Jesus’ once and for all final sacrifice. He was perfection. He was sinless in his life. And, equally, as important, He was not even touched by sin in the way He was born and developed as a child in the womb. Without a virgin womb, Jesus would have been touched by sin. If Mary had been sexually active, it would have made her womb tainted by the entry of man who is by nature sinful. Without Mary being a virgin, our faith then comes unraveled from the start. She MUST be a virgin. For Jesus to be our sinless, atoning, substitutionary sacrifice for our sin, He must be sinless and must not have been touched by sin. God thinks of every angle does He not. It all makes sense why she had to be virgin now. It’s not just some cute story. It is essential to our faith. You know in presidential election years, we take a couple of years before that to weed out the candidates and find their fatal flaws. In most years, we do find those fatal flaws and eliminate candidates from the race as a result. If you are looking for a trace of sin in Jesus, here would be the place to look. But there is no sin here. Mary was a virgin. Her womb had not been touched by man.

Mary also had to be impregnated by the Holy Spirit and not by a man for the very same reason. It is essential to our faith. Jesus could not be conceived from the seed of sinful man. It would have meant that He would have been born with a sin nature. Therefore, He then could not become the perfect once and for all final sacrifice for sin if He had a sin nature. God had to bypass the regular system of human reproduction involving fertilization of the female egg by the male seed. He was conceived by a perfect and sinless God. God created a child from nothing in Mary’s womb just as He spoke the universe into being. He is the Creator. For God, as the angel of the Lord said, in this passage, “nothing is impossible with God.” This means that Jesus is of God not of man. He is human in the sense that Mary became pregnant and Jesus gestated inside her and she gave birth to Him in the normal human way. Conceived by God born in the normal way. Jesus both fully of God and fully of man. He is sinless and died as a substitute for our sins. He walked the earth as a man so that He knows our condition and the things that we go through. He knows of our limitations first hand by experiencing life in a human body. None of this would have mattered if He was not born of God. He would have come from bad seed, from our bad seed, the sinful seed. Mary had to become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and not by man. We depend on Him being sinless. It had to be this way.

The womb had to be pure. Mary had to conceive by the Holy Spirit and not by man. It all sounds fantastic and cute. It adds to the cuteness of our modern day Christmases. It nice warm story isn’t it. But its not just a nice a warm story. It is essential to our faith. Perfection and sinlessness are the hallmarks of why Jesus is our substitute for sin. He had to have a sinless life, yes, and He did. He is the only one to ever accomplish that feet of anyone who occupied a human body. That in of itself is essential to our faith – that He was able to live a sinless life. But He also had to have no taint of sin in his conception and in the womb in which He gestated. There is no smoking gun that makes God’s theology fall apart here. Jesus was sinless from conception. Jesus was not touched by sin even in the womb in which he developed. He was perfect and sinless from the beginning of time as part of the Trinity. He was perfect and sinless at the moment of conception. He was perfect and sinless as he developed in a womb not touched by man’s sinful nature or his sinful seed. He was perfect and sinless in His life on earth. He was perfect and sinless during his death. He was perfect and sinless in His resurrection. He is perfect and sinless now and forever. He is free of sin so that He can always will be the sacrifice for our sin that reconciles us to God.

It’s not just a cute story. It is necessary oh so necessary to our faith. The next time you pass a nativity scene really take that in. That scene and all that goes with the nativity story is bedrock to our faith. See its gravity and feel its weight. It will mean so much more to you. Not just cute. Essential. God covering all the bases as He always does. Essential.