During the season known as Christmas there will undoubtedly be many shallow discussions about when Jesus was actually born. Such discourse only serves to detract from the fact of His incarnation. His birth and its exact timing was known and planned before the earth ever existed.
The major aspect of Jesus’ birth was that while He was the Seed of a woman, His Father was God Himself. That great truth was an absolute necessity. Only the God/Man Jesus could fulfill the purpose for which He was born. Jesus’ purpose was to redeem fallen man and impute to him the required righteousness of God so man could, once again, be found acceptable to be in God’s presence.
The announcement of the future Redeemer was made to Satan in the Garden of Eden after he deceived Eve into disobedience. God told Satan that his sin of deception would be reckoned with permanently in due time.
“So the LORD God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.’” Genesis 3:14-15
The Hebrew meaning of ‘bruise’ in the above includes crush or break in pieces.
The work of redemption by Jesus Christ is the scarlet thread that ties all the pages of the Bible together. It is the most significant doctrinal truth in the Holy Scriptures.
Several millennia after the original announcement God confirmed to His chosen people, the Jews, the future birth of the promised Redeemer.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called…Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:8
Other of the Prophets even provided the exact place of birth for the future Prince of peace centuries before the event.
As the New Testament opened, the virgin chosen by God to conceive and give birth to the Prince was revealed and the angel Gabriel told her of her chosen role.
“…the virgin’s name was Mary…Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son’…Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:27-35
The Apostle John also announced the incarnation.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…as the only begotten of the Father…” John 1:14
The Greek base for ‘Word’ means in essence the visible manifestation of the reality of God.
The Apostle Paul provided more detail about the mission of the God/Man Jesus.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5
“For what the law could not do…through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us…” Romans 8:3-4
Jesus succinctly summarized His mission on earth.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law…I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17
Then Paul closed the loop originally announced in Genesis 3:15 relative to Satan’s future.
“…And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” Romans 16:20
The Greek for ‘crush’ means the same as the Hebrew, i.e. to bruise, shatter, or break in pieces.
Another suitable title for this column describing Jesus’ incarnation might have been ‘Born to Die.’