We start of with the basic sinful or depraved nature of mankind. We will talk about how that got started in another article, but let's for the moment, at least, assume that the premise is correct. And that for each generation genetically we produce sinful offsprings.
Paul writes in Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death (separation from God) through sin and so death spread to all men, because all sinned... let us acknowledge that man passes on the sinful nature from one generation to another. When God is to enter the world in human form how does he keep his Son free from sin? If he is to go through the normal route of birth, boyhood, manhood, how does he enter the human race without the sin debris getting into his bloodstream that started with Adam and Eve?
If he were to have a human father and a human mother he certainly would be human, but not Deity. Or he could simply by executive order be called into existence in baby form, like an angel, dropped on Mary and Joseph's doorstep... but that's not really human in the sense of going through the birth pains, carried for nine months, delivered and lovingly cared for. Or how about simply the Spirit possession of an already existing person? Well, that would seem to be a strange combination of Deity and sinful man. That would not do either.
But a virgin birth, through the Holy Spirit fertilization of the egg would be a perfect way to break the genetic link of sinfulness for one time only and produce a human being with undiminished Deity at the same time. What a perfect solution. You know... there is evidence of the intent of a virgin birth many 800 years before the fact. Isaiah 7 the Lord is speaking to Ahaz, King of Judah. The early part of chapter 7 gives some background about the war against Jerusalem, and Ahaz and his people are afraid of the fall of his kingdom.
Isaiah 7:14 the Lord speaks to Ahaz: "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders, and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There are at least two reasons for believing in the virgin birth. Firstly, when the Hebrew Bible was being translated into the Greek at about 300BC Jewish scholars looking for a word to use in exchange for Almah (virgin) came up with Parthenos. They did not pick words such as young lady or young woman. Secondly, it would have been rather ridiculous for a prophet to stand up and declare that a young lady would be having a child. What kind of sign or miracle would that have represented. Isaiah clearly refers to a sign.
Then, 800 years later, in the fullness of time, just when all conditions were just right in mankind's evolution in God's eyes for this wonderful event, he provides the miracle:
Luke 1:26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 and coming in, he said to her, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." 34 And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and for that reason the Holy offspring shall be called the Son of God...
The facts in Scripture are becoming quite clear that Mary had never known a man in intimate sexual relations and the miracle of conception is clearly through the power of the Holy Spirit. Look at the bold passages above. The Scripture says it...
Matthew 1:19 And Joseph her husband being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. "And she will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins."…. 24 And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, 25 and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son, and he called His name Jesus. Well, what of it! Why make such a big deal out of a seemingly trivial detail of Bible fact? In fact, I have known people who don't accept the virgin birth concept but I think it is a very important basic of Christian faith: Firstly, if Jesus was not of a virgin birth, then He would be a sinful Savior. A good man, and a good teacher, but only a man.
Secondly, if Jesus was virgin born you have a sinless lamb, a lamb without defect that provided sufficient payment for our sins. We'll be getting into the origins of perfect sacrifices when we later talk about the Book of Leviticus.
What is the benefit of all this?
Firstly, God cared enough to provide a way to present to us a sinless Son, that He may stand before us as a guide for our lives. He has provided for us a perfect model with which we can pattern ourselves and our lives...
Secondly, since God became humanity, he understands our human existence, and our struggles. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that we experience that He does not understand. God in the form of Jesus suffered all the things that you and I do, except sin. He did not know sin.