Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Miraculous Conception

Meditation for the week of December 14, 2008

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

About 2000 years ago, a great miracle occurred. A young woman who was engaged but not married, had a child. Now that wouldn’t be a miracle in our day and it wouldn’t cause a ripple in the annals of history. But this birth caused quite a stir when it occurred and still causes a people to sit up and take notice. The reason this birth was notable is because the baby’s conception was miraculous. The woman was a virgin when the baby was conceived. Because that seems so improbable to the natural mind, many have tried to imply that the story is a myth. But Matthew thought the story was true, and what is good enough for Matthew is good enough for me.

None of the Gospel writers tell us when the baby was born. Some think it occurred on December 25th, the date that was thought to be the date when the sun was reborn by many who worshiped the sun and the stars. December 25 was considered to be the shortest day of the year, Now we know that the date is a few days earlier. What we do know about the birth of the Lord is that it probably wasn’t on that date since it would likely have been too cold for the shepherds to have been living in the fields and keeping watch over their flocks at night.

What we do know is that this conception was miraculous even though the birth was normal. We know that Mary who was the virgin that conceived the Lord had other children the normal way married women do, so she didn’t remain a virgin. We know that the conception of the Christ child was foretold 700 years before it happened. We know that when Mary gave birth to the Lord Jesus, another great miracle occurred. God was now dwelling with men. His title Immanuel means, “God with us.” John tells us in John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Word was a title for the Lord Jesus since He is the means of communicating who God is to us.

We do know that the celebration of Christmas is the world’s way of honoring the Lord and is not the way the Lord asked us to honor him. The Lord wants us to believe in Him. We celebrate Christmas with a world that has rejected Him. I always marvel that those who will not get baptized to honor Him, who will not associate with a congregation of believers to honor Him, and some who have never taken a piece from a loaf of bread or a drink from a cup of wine to honor Him, are determined to celebrate Christmas in order to honor Him.

We do know that the Lord was born to die. Simeon reminded Mary in Luke 2:35 that she would understand sorrow because of this Son. He said a sword would pierce her soul. The Lord was destined to be a “Man of Sorrows who was acquainted with grief” (Issiah 53:3). Some object to the Gospel because they cannot imagine a Father punishing His Son on a cross for something He did not do. Yet that is exactly why the Lord was born. He is the only one who could die for our sins since He did not have any of His own for which to die. Those of us who have trusted in His sacrificial death, know true love. We know that the Lord was born to die because God loved us and wanted to provide a righteous means of salvation for us.

We may be occupied with a baby in a manger this time of year. But we should be occupied with the Savior who died on the Cross. We should be thankful for this great miracle that occurred when Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit and gave birth to a Son who was willing to live with and ultimately die for sinners. Paul says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” I don’t object to the Gospel because the Father gave His unique Son to die for me. I thank God for that great Truth.

Bruce Collins

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