Most of us know the miracle of the Christmas story. The virgin Mary encounters the angel Gabriel one night who reveals to her that she will have the privilege of bearing Israel’s Messiah and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth.
Of course, Mary wonders how this can be, since she is a virgin. The angel then explains that the Holy Spirit will come upon her, the power of the Most High will overshadow her, so the Holy One who will be born will be called the Son of God.
In other words, the miracle would not just be that a virgin would give birth, but because God would be the father of this child, the child would be the Son of God—God in the flesh, God as a man.
Can you imagine giving birth to . . . God?
But the miracles don’t end there. In fact, these two miracles paved the way for a third. It’s a miracle hinted at when the angel gives a name for the son that’s about to be born to Mary. His name is to be called Jesus, which means Jehovah, or God saves.
Now this is terribly important to meditate on for a moment. We’re being told who saves mankind and who does not. We’re being told that only God can save men from their sins. Men and women, like you and me, cannot save ourselves from our sins. To put it another way, there’s absolutely nothing you and I can do to earn our own salvation—it is impossible to be good enough for God.
And that’s where this matter of Jesus, being born of a virgin, and therefore the Son of God, or God Himself, becomes so essential. Only Jesus, as God, could and did live a perfect life. He did not need to die for His own sins; He had none. Only Jesus, as infinite God in nature, could and would die to pay the penalty for an infinite number of sins—the sins of the world.
Thus, the real meaning of Christmas: God sent His Son, God the Son, to die on the cross for our sins, taking the penalty rightly due to sinners upon Himself, so that we would not have to pay for our own sins. This is the miracle Christmas gift of God that comes only through Jesus—that sinners can have their sins justly forgiven, and thus be saved from God’s judgment and wrath.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“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” (John 3:16).
Have you received the miracle gift of Christmas?
Remember, only Jesus saves.
Trust Him, and Him alone, and the gift will be yours!