The Virgin Birth

From the very beginning the plan of redemption had indicated a virgin birth. In Moses and in the Psalms and in the prophets (all of which Christ said spoke of him) it had been foretold.

In Gen. 3:15 it was specifically the “seed of the woman” which should bruise the seed of the serpent. In the Psalms (which are often prophetic and in many cases particularly of Christ, e.g. Ps.22) there are two references to saving “the son of thine handmaid”. (Psalm 86:16 and Ps. 116:16). As it was not usual to speak of descent through the mother, the statement is important, especially when Mary applies the phrase to herself: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word”. (Matt 1:23) quotes the passage from the prophets (Isa.7:14) foretelling the virgin birth.

The virgin birth was a necessity in the plan of redemption. It was necessary that one born of human kind should be able to offer himself as a perfect sacrifice (be bruised in the heel – Gen. 3:15) to gain the victory over sin and death (the bruising in the head of the seed of the serpent – Gen. 3:15). Therefore a seed was provided by God, “born of a woman” and thus “able to be tempted in all points like as we are”, yet not born of the will of man but of the power of God (Luke 1:35).

Thus Jesus was called both Son of man and Son of God (or Emmanuel). Because he was the former he came under the Edenic sentence, but “death could not hold him” and so by a resurrection he became “the firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18), the risen Saviour (or Jesus) who should save his people from their sins.

Bro. W. Mitchell (U.K.)

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