Monday, December 6, 2010

Reflections on Advent - VII

It’s the time of year when so-called experts will appear on television and radio giving their opinions on the birth of Jesus Christ, of course few, if any, of these experts will disclose their biases regarding the supernatural – little does the viewing and listening public know that many Biblical “scholars” have a strong anti-supernatural bias; little wonder the scholars question the virgin birth (more properly the virgin conception) of Jesus Christ. After all, if you don’t believe the supernatural is possible then you will hardly find evidence for the virgin birth.

Sad to say many pastors also dismiss the virgin birth; sadder to say many of them aren’t honest with their parishioners about their beliefs, or lack thereof. I guess job security is the issue, and why trouble the great unwashed masses with reasoning beyond their capacity? Now if you ask me why someone who doesn’t believe the Bible would want to be a pastor, I really can’t answer that; you might go find one of those horses and ask it directly, there are a number of them around.

In reading the Gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus it is clear that the men who recorded His birth were recording a supernatural event – what we term the virgin birth.

Matthew tells us that before Mary and Joseph came together in sexual union that Mary was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Then Matthew writes that the angel who appeared to Joseph told him, …do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Then, to put the icing on the cake, just to make sure no one missed the point, Matthew writes, All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel. (Immanuel means God with us).

Luke gives us the account of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary to announce the conception of Jesus within her, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
Understandably Mary wonders about this and asks, How will this be, since I am a virgin? Sensible young woman that Mary.

Gabriel responds, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.

And so God becomes man, but not man as we know man (humanity), God becomes a perfect man, living a perfect life, that he might die as a perfect sacrifice and rise from the dead; bringing a new creation into existence; a race of women and men who trace their lineage no longer from Adam, but rather from Christ.

If we are left to ourselves without God coming to us through a virgin, then we have no hope; for all that we can produce is heartache and despair, we cannot overcome our DNA of sin and rebellion.

God partook of man’s flesh; that man might partake of God’s Spirit. God came into intimate relationship with man; that man might come into intimate relationship with God.

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