When we think of Christmas and the miracle of Christmas – some folk and even Christians, may dwell on the incredible miracle of the virgin birth.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
A virgin would have a child in the most incredible of circumstances. Mary would not have a union with a man in order to produce this child. She would get pregnant in an impossible way. Not even entering into a relationship in a way that would allow this to happen. She was a virgin and the laws of procreation were abandoned only one time in the history of the world. And that was for an obedient girl called Mary, engaged to be married to Joseph.
Now, back in that time – engagements didn’t mean ‘testing the waters’ beforehand. It didn’t mean premarital relations were accepted. A betrothal was a binding agreement between the man and woman to be completed before the true joining together of their bodies.
So the pregnancy of Mary was a complete miracle that defied the laws of procreation and have never been or will ever be repeated again. It was a complete ‘one off’ miracle.
Now, you may think that is surely, the greatest Christmas miracle of all. But it’s not.
The fact that Mary conceived without a male’s involvement in any way – is undoubtedly an incredible miracle. But the greater miracle is not of a pregnancy but of the incarnation.
The incarnation is the way Christians express the incredible wonder of Jesus Christ’s birth. Now, it must be immediately made clear that Jesus didn’t come into existence at Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago. It’s not like His life began right then. In fact, Jesus has always existed with the Father and Holy Spirit. (The Triune nature – the Trinity)
The disciple Thomas recognised that after Jesus rose from the dead when He saw Him he said, And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” – John 20:28
In Hebrews 1:8 – The writer quotes Psalm 45:6-7, when God the Father says to God the Son,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.”
The Apostle Paul writing to Titus, called Jesus Christ God – Titus 2:13 “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”
So the incarnation (the birth of Christ) was not really His birth in the sense of the start of His existence. Because He is God and is self existent. He has always existed and always will.
Jesus birth in Bethlehem, was Him taking on the flesh of a human being and that is the greatest miracle. That God could dwell in a human body. That is mind blowing.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah, prophesying some 700 years before Jesus came – told us that this child born into our world, would be God and would be from everlasting.
The great miracle then, is God taking the flesh of a human being and confining Himself (for the most part) to the limitations of a human body. This is what theologians call the deity of Jesus Christ. That He is fully God and yet fully man at the same time.
The Apostle stated it clearly in, Colossians 2:9 – For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
For the most part, Jesus acted within the confines of His human existence and asked the Father to allow miracles to be done through Him. But there were times when He acted in His divine power, and these were clues for us of His true identity.
And why did He come within the confines of a human body? Well, how could God die for our sin if He didn’t? And that is the whole reason. He came to die for our sin. The perfect sacrifice to appease the judgement and wrath of God the Father. He suffered and took our place on the cross – so we wouldn’t have to suffer in eternity. He became what we are, so we could become what He is. The scriptures say that for the Christian – when we see Him, we shall be like Him.
Not that we become God – but that we shall finally be glorified and in a glorified body like Him. We shall finally be able to share in His ‘new creation’ glory. And we shall worship Him forever.
Charles Wesley penned one of the greatest Christmas carols ever and yet one wonders if many even realise what they sing at Christmas.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see.
Charles was declaring with great joy, that Jesus being God Himself, was hidden by the very flesh He chose to take upon Himself.
That’s the great miracle of Christmas. That Christ the Lord has come and dwelt in flesh.
Yet many did not recognise God in the flesh back in Jerusalem. And sadly, many won’t recognise or acknowledge Him today.
John’s gospel puts it this way:
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Now, isn’t that worth sharing this Christmas? That the greatest Christmas miracle was Jesus coming to earth for us.
Will you receive this miracle in your heart this year?
God bless and have a true Christmas this year.