A Christmas Issue:
Why a Virgin Birth?
by Chuck Missler
Every Christmas season our thoughts turn to the birth
of Christ and to his mother, Mary. To some extent, we all take the nativity for
granted. But why was Jesus born of a virgin? One
answer, of course, is to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14: "Behold the virgin
shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
But that's more descriptive than causal: why was it necessary in the first
place? There are, of course, many profound theological issues inherent in the
virgin birth. One way to view this issue is to address one of the problems it
God announced very early that
His plan for redemption involved the Messiah being brought forth from the tribe
of Judah1, and specifically from the line of
David2. The succession of subsequent kings proved to
be, with only a few exceptions, a dismal chain. As the succeeding kings of Judah
went from bad to worse, we eventually encounter Jeconiah (also known as
Jehoiachin), upon whom God pronounces a" blood curse" :"Thus saith the Lord,
Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no
man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any
more in Judah."(Jeremiah 22:30)
This curse created a rather grim and
perplexing paradox: the Messiah had to come from the royal line, yet now there
was a"blood curse" on that very line of descent! (I always visualize a
celebration in the councils of Satan on that day. But then I imagine God turning
to His angels, saying,"Watch this one!")
The answer emerges in the differing genealogies of Jesus
Christ recorded in the gospels. Matthew, as a Levi, focuses his gospel on the
Messiahship of Jesus and presents Him as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Thus,
Matthew traces the legal
line from Abraham (as any Jew would) through
David, then through Solomon (the . royal. line) to Joseph, the
legal father of Jesus3.
On the other
hand, Luke, as a physician, focuses on the humanity of Jesus and
presents Him as the Son of Man. Luke traces the blood line from Adam (the
first Man) through to David-- and his genealogy from Abraham through David is
identical to Matthew's. But then after David, Luke departs from the path
taken by Matthew and traces the family tree through another son
of David (the second surviving son of Bathsheba), Nathan, down through Heli, the
father of Mary, the mother of Jesus4.
One should also note the
exception to the law which permitted inheritance through the daughter
if no sons were available and she married within her tribe5.
The daughters of Zelophehad had petitioned Moses for a special
exception, which was granted when they entered the land under Joshua.
I believe it was C.I.
Scofield who first noted that the claims of Christ rely upon this peculiar exception granted
to the family of Zelo-phehad in the Torah. Heli, Mary's father, apparently had
no sons, and Mary married within the tribe of Judah. Jesus was born
of the virgin Mary, of the house and lineage of David and carrying legal title to
the line, but without the blood curse of Jeconiah. [I believe that every detail
in the Torah -- and the entire Bible -- has a direct link to
Jesus Christ. "The volume of the book is written of me." (Psalm
40:7) [For a more detailed discussion, watch for our new book, Cosmic Codes --
Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity, presently in publication.]
This was no
afterthought or post facto remedy, of course. It was first announced in the
Garden of Eden when God declared war on Satan: " I will put enmity
between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise
thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."(Genesis 3:15)
The"Seed of the Woman" thus becomes one of the prophetic
titles of the Messiah. This biological contradiction is the first hint -- in the
early chapters of Genesis -- of the virgin birth.
John also presents a genealogy, of sorts, of the
Pre-Existent One in the first three verses of his gospel6. The Prophet Micah also highlights this:" But thou,
Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out
of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings
forth have been from of old, from everlasting."(Micah 5:2)
Another Christmas question:
Why Bethlehem? It is the Book of Ruth that links the line of
David to Bethlehem. (See our audio book Ruth: The
Romance of Redemption ) And who were the Magi? Very few really know the background of
this famous-- yet misunderstood-- visit. Find out in The Christmas
Story:What Really Happened.
- Genesis 49:10.
- Ruth 4:22; 2 Samuel 7:11-16.
- Luke 3:23-38.
- Numbers 26:33; 27:1-11; 36:2-12; Joshua 17:3-6; 1
- John 1:1-3.
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