Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 21, 2022
Christmas: The birth of Christ and the miracle of miracles

For most of us Christmas is a joyous time. Family and friends getting together; the exchange of gifts and good food. And of course, for those who look to the true meaning of Christmas, there is the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

But Christmas is more than just the birth of Christ; it is the miracle of miracles. Why do I say that?

Consider the main concerns unbelievers have with the account of Jesus being the Savior: 

1- The virgin birth. Many would say, “You’ve got to be kidding. A virgin birth is impossible.” 

2- The miracles of Jesus. Many skeptics would point to other people in history doing miracles, including Jesus’ disciples, and conclude that others can, thus that doesn’t make Jesus the Savior. 

3- His death on the cross. Many skeptics say, “There is no way a man dying on a cross could eliminate his own sins, let alone the sins of the world.” 

4- Of the resurrection they say, “Once you’re dead, you’re dead. There’s no way you could ever raise up your dead body once you have died.”

I fully understand the objections that so many people make regarding the claim that Jesus, although a man among men, was the Savior of the world. How could these things be genuinely true of a man, any man?

BUT, if the One was indeed God the Son, then couldn’t He, the One who created flesh, take on flesh, just as He gave each of us a body; and if God came in the flesh couldn’t God in the flesh do miracles beyond our imagination; couldn’t God in the flesh Himself pay for your sins, in fact for the sins of the entire human race by taking our place in the judgment of God against sin; and couldn’t God raise Himself from the dead after He allowed His earthly body to die?

God taking on flesh should have been no real surprise because it was prophesied in the Bible. I find it extremely sad that the religious leaders of Jesus’ day so adamantly declared Him a blasphemous heretic when He claimed to be God. In John 10:32 Jesus asked them what good works (miracles) had He done that they wanted to stone Him to death for. They said, “not for any good works, but because You being a man claim to be God.”

In other words, they knew exactly who Jesus was claiming to be, yet they vehemently argued that no man could be God. How sad. I say that because in Isaiah 9:6 God made it very clear that He would be born as one of us.

Additionally, the Incarnation was necessary for our salvation. Who could bring about our salvation other than God the Savior? The entire meaning of “Savior” is His role in bringing our salvation. The Lord made it very clear in Isaiah 59:16 that He alone could do this; He alone could provide our salvation.

Think about it. All people are steeped in sin, and can’t save themselves, let alone anyone else. This alone is a clear argument for the miraculous Incarnation. If God was going to do it He had to be born as one of us; His justice required that. 

In addition this wonderful salvation could come through no one other than God because God made it very clear more than once that He alone is the Savior (Isaiah 43:11). 

Therefore Jesus must be God Incarnate; He’s the only one who could ever provide the way of salvation. In fact, when it was time to head to the cross Jesus said that was the very purpose for which He was born as one of us (John 12:27).

My final point is very critical: the Incarnation was necessary for the Savior’s resurrection, and the resurrection was necessary for our salvation. Romans 4:25 says “He who was delivered over because of our sins, was raised for our justification.” Justification is our being declared that we are no longer guilty of sin.

The point is very simple; the Resurrection was absolutely necessary for us to be justified, and God the Son couldn’t have been resurrected from the dead if He hadn’t first died, and He couldn’t have died if He had not first been born as one of us.

As I pointed to earlier, the Bible is very clear; the wages of sin is death, not only physical death, but eternal spiritual separation from God. And since the punishment for sin is death (Romans 3:23), that meant someone had to die for sin to satisfy God’s justice, and as we have clearly seen, that could not have been any of us. So in order to die for us to satisfy God’s justice, the Lord had to be born as one of us; He had to live as one of us – sinlessly I might add – and then He had to taste death for us.

But, even though He took our punishment and then died for us, if He had not been resurrected then we would be stuck in death as well (1 Corinthians 15:14). But praise God Jesus has been raised. In fact Christ was able to raise Himself from the dead (of course – He is God). We see Jesus making this amazing declaration of His authority and ability in John 10:17-18.

As I stated earlier, I refer to the Incarnation as the miracle of miracles because if God was born as one of us – which God makes clear He was – then all of the objections people stumble over become non-issues. So the only real question you should have to ask is, “Why would God do that?” God answers that in what is likely the most recognized verse of the Bible – John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” 

God so loves you that He was willing to do all this.

Jon McCartney is pastor of First Baptist Church of Tooele.

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