Journey to Bethlehem Day 22
Sunday, December 22 Isaiah 7:10-17
10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 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.15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. 17 The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father's house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria!”
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son...” What do we do with a statement like that?
But wait there’s more: “… and call his name Immanuel.” In Old Testament times, names often had special, descriptive meanings. Immanuel means “God with us.”
So… is Isaiah prophesying that a virgin will give birth to a divine child? Yes.
The virgin birth of Jesus. Some people reject it because it is, seemingly, biologically impossible. Likewise, some people object to the divinity of Christ. How can a human being be divine? Admittedly, these are mysteries. But the Bible testifies that Jesus was the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary.
If a person can accept that there is a God with unlimited power, who created all things, and with whom all things are possible, this prophecy of Isaiah is not so problematic. Instead, it is good news. There is mystery, yes. But it tells us some wonderful things we would not otherwise know.
First, perhaps most important of all, it demonstrates the infinite love that God has for us. Consider this. The baby Jesus grew up to be the man Jesus. The man Jesus was killed. But in his death, he did something no human could do. He absorbed into himself the sin of the world. Only God could do that. In other words, if Jesus was not divine, our sin is unforgiven. But God loves us too much to allow that.
And second, the virgin birth points us to an important but sometimes overlooked fact. We have a God who has suffered as we suffer. He has first-hand experience of our pain. Ours is a humble, understanding savior.
Don’t let the virgin birth trip you up. Instead, be amazed by it, rejoice in it, give thanks for it. And, watch your faith come alive.
Father help me as I meditate on mystery of the virgin birth. Amen.