I think we all have various moments in time that seem to change everything. It may have been the passing of a loved one, a moment of abuse, an automobile accident, the birth of a child, 9/11, etc. In that moment, something happened, joyous or painful, that changed who we are. In some cases it may have actually caused us to act differently. In other cases, it just causes us to think differently, appreciate things more, or we just process things differently internally.
There have been a lot of events that have changed the world, for better or worse, throughout the course of history. Even if it happened with much less pomp than other world changing events, the conception and birth of Christ was monumental because of what was happening and what it meant would happen in the future. When I read the passages that speak of the Spirit of God moving upon Mary (Matt 1:18) and the Christ being conceived it brings up various thoughts of His sovereignty to create life at a whim. It wasn’t just “ordinary” (a term that steals away the wonder of all that is human life) life, it was God in the flesh being woven together in the womb of Mary.
I wonder, in the midst of the Christian stance on abortion, if we just blow by the miracle of Christ’s conception to get to His birth. Is it too taboo for us to talk about?
Here is an interesting tidbit that we often overlook, did you ever wonder why Mary (the devout Hebrew that she was) asked “How can this be since I am a virgin?” I have heard responses that she was young, or she didn’t understand the prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) like we do. Have you ever answered a question, were told you were wrong, were given the correct answer, went back to look at the matter you were asked about and noticed that you were wrong but now understand the correct answer because you are a bit more enlightened on the matter? You may have reverse engineered the matter with the different result to see the proper working?
Isaiah 7:14 kind of has that feel to it. It clearly refers to the virgin birth with hindsight, but if you had read it from the perspective the Hebrew teachers did rationale and supposition comes in. I mean who expects a virgin birth if it has never happened before. We see in other areas that people said, “How can this be (Christ being the Messiah) since He is the son of a carpenter.” (Matt. 13:55) The Jewish people didn’t understand that Christ was to be born of a virgin. Since there was nothing wrong with a husband having a sexual relationship with his wife, they assumed the Christ would be born just like everyone else.
I often wonder how many things like this I miss in the faith.
As we study the Scripture, we understand that the conception and birth of Christ had to be carried out this way. How else could the curse of man being born into sin be broken unless a man was born of God? (Romans 5) Would God conceive with a woman that had been with a man? If Christ was to be the sacrifice to pay for the wages of all mankind’s sin, He had to be pure and untainted by the sin nature of man. All of this came together for the miraculous virgin conception and birth of Christ.
As time went on, God in the flesh grew within the belly of this young Jewish woman. Can you imagine the stresses that I am sure she endured with people talking, rumors swirling, and all sorts of whispered accusations? How did she tell her parents? How did the conversation come up with Joseph? Who did she tell the truth of what was going on? I mean, how would they even respond aside from laughing at her or calling her a blasphemer. Quietly, she bore this joyous burden, the burden of a calling, of being chosen for this grandiose event.
Imagine, eternal being woven together within the temporal partaking in the restrictions of time with the purpose of redemption, reconciliation, and reconnection. This is so profound. All the while, continuing to fulfill prophecies as the Christ comes to the world.