Some years ago, the United States sent a capsule to the moon, and for the first time a man—Neil Armstrong—walked on the moon. The President at that time said, “The planting of human feet upon the moon is the greatest event in human history.”
I mean no disrespect, but he was totally wrong. The greatest event in human history was not planting human feet upon the moon but when God came to a manger in Bethlehem and His feet were planted upon Earth. That’s the greatest event. We call that the incarnation.
Almighty God stepped out of heaven’s ivory palaces into this world of woe and put His feet upon earth.
What good does it do us to put a man on the moon if we can’t get God in our hearts? What good is it to know how the heavens go and not know Jesus, and how to go to heaven? What good is it to know astronomy and not know Jesus, the Bright and Morning Star? What good is it to know botany and study the flowers and not know Jesus, heaven’s sweetest rose, the Rose of Sharon? What good is it to know geology and the ages of the rocks and not know Jesus, the Rock of Ages? What good is it to know the events of history and not know that history is “His story”? For it is in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:” Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah dipped his pen in golden glory 700 years before the first Christmas and wrote about the coming Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ. The “child being born” speaks of His virgin birth. The “Son being given” speaks of His eternality. He has been the Son of God, with the Father, through the ages.
“… and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
The educated man is ignorant, the strong man is weak, and the wealthy man is poor if he doesn’t understand the true meaning of Christmas.
Jesus was not just another child, a Galilean peasant, a great teacher. He was supernatural. God sent a package to earth the first Christmas—a gift of deity wrapped in humanity. Never forget this: Jesus is God in human flesh.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John called Jesus “the Word.” A word is an expression of an invisible thought. You can’t hear my thoughts, but you hear my words and therefore you know my thoughts. You can’t see my thoughts. My thoughts are invisible. But my word makes the invisible known to you. Jesus makes the invisible God known to man. He is the very Word of God to the human race.
Jesus is also fully God. The apostle John was a devout Jew who would have an ingrained resistance to any kind of idolatry. Yet John says “the Word was God.”
Everything that God is, Jesus is. Everything that God has, Jesus has. Everything that God does, Jesus does. Jesus is fully God. He is not part-God and part-man. He’s not all God and no man. He’s not all man and no God. He is the God-man. There has never ever been another like the Lord Jesus Christ, supernatural in His nature.
“But unto the Son [of God] he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom.” Hebrews 1:8
Our heavenly Father said of His heavenly Son, “Your throne is for ever and ever, and You, My Son, are God.” Jesus did not have His beginning at Bethlehem. When John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word…” it’s not talking about a start but a state. There never was a time when Jesus was not. There never will be a time when Jesus is not. A billion years from now, He’ll still be God. He is God from everlasting to everlasting.
“And great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh.” 1Timothy 3:16
Jesus did not begin in a manger. He came to earth and was manifest in a manger. That little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes was the great, eternal, uncreated, self-existing Word made flesh, the One who swung planets into space. The baby in Luke 2 is the mighty God of Genesis 1 who made it all. Before Him, “there was nothing that is made.” The toddler learning to walk holding Mary’s hand is the eternal, uncreated God. The boy playing with shavings there in Joseph’s carpenter shop is God manifested in the flesh. You may not understand that, and I can understand that you don’t understand it, because the apostle Paul said, “I don’t understand it.” Great is the mystery of God that He stepped out of heaven and came to this earth through the portals of a virgin’s womb. Isaiah 7:14 tells us He was born of a virgin. This child is the very Son of God.
“With God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37
I know there are people who sneer at the idea of a virgin birth. They say, “Well, how could this happen?” The angel said to Mary, “With God, nothing is impossible.” If you have trouble with the virgin birth, your real trouble is with God. If God could make the first man without a father or mother, don’t you think He could bring His Son into this world in a virgin birth? If you don’t believe in the virgin birth, your problem is with the Word of God: it is flawed because the Word of God clearly, plainly teaches it. If Mary had a child out of wedlock, then Mary was an impure woman. And if Jesus were not the Son of God, He’s the Son of Adam. “In Adam all die.” If Jesus had not been born of a virgin, He would have the same human tendencies and proclivities that you and I have. By nature we are children of wrath.
If there is no virgin birth, none of us is going to heaven. Our salvation is inextricably interwoven with the virgin birth. No virgin birth, no deity. No deity, no sinless life. No sinless life, no sacrificial death. No sacrificial death, no salvation. No salvation, no heaven—no eternity with God.
Jesus came to earth that we might go to heaven. Jesus was born of a virgin that we might be born again. When you celebrate this Christmas season, may it be with an increased love for a Father who sent His only begotten Son—and a Savior, the Second Person of the Trinity, who laid aside His royal robes and stepped onto earth to become “obedient unto death—even the death of the cross.” No wonder we say that is human history’s greatest event.