The birthday of Jesus has been a milestone event every year for the past 2 millennia. How is it the baby of a common class couple earns such distinction and renown? Jesus is special…God in the flesh. The exclusive relationship of Jesus within the Godhead made His birth necessary. The unique affiliation Jesus has with mankind made His birth necessary. The role as Messiah necessitated a human birth to usher the champion’s triumph over sin and the sting of death. The thing is, even though this child was born, He has no beginning, and He has no end. As we know it, if the world were to last another ten-thousand years, His birthday would still be a milestone every single year.
Joseph and Mary were not just an ordinary couple. The parents of Jesus were a royal pair, both descending directly from King David. A closer look at the genealogy of Joseph maps the direct birthright lineage of Israel’s King. Can you imagine, the carpenter was the rightful King of Israel in his lifetime due to the tradition and rights of the firstborn. Jesus being the firstborn, also had the right of Kingship. A caveat, Jesus was not the biological son of Joseph; however, all royal rights transferred under the spirit of adoption. In that day, nothing was held against an accepted child in the family hierarchy; the child was fully redeemed. God protected the rightful King of Israel and his Son, the true King of the Jews, with a bubble of humility from those who would destroy them.
Mary was also a direct descendant of King David. The Old Testament records the custom of men marrying women within their close and extended family. The family unit expands to a tribe, then race, then nation. The same Aramaic word is used for both race and nation in the Old Testament. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, and Leah/Rachael are examples. The purpose was to preserve family purity. The Old Testament also bears witness that the firstborn of any creature, including mankind, is Holy and a special possession of God. Jesus was a firstborn child of firstborn parents and is the firstborn of a new family. He is the Alpha of a new race, the Lord and King of a new nation. Jesus did not become; He was and is.
Before the necessary birth, the person of Jesus existed, just not in the created human form. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image…’” (Genesis 1:26) One great mystery of God is the Trinity. One God in three persons. So, in Christianity, there is room for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit co-existing as one. It is written that Jesus is the fullness of God in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9) God did not just sit around and make this up; it is the way He has been for eternity. Now God being God, He has knowledge of all things. Before the advent of Jesus, the outstanding issue is He had only an intellectual knowledge of what it was like to be a creature. God, by His very nature, had to know the experience of created life. The answer was simple, become a creature.
Now God could do this because of the triune nature. The Son could empty Himself of all glory and enter the womb of a woman and experience everything from birth to death. At the same time, the Father and Spirit could still actively govern the world and not leave it undefended, especially when the Son experienced death. God had knowledge of good and evil but could not experience the true weight of evil unless He took the evil of others upon Himself. At the cross, God experienced the ultimate battle, and at the resurrection, the ultimate victory. God knows birth, life, and death, both cognitively and experientially. You see, with Jesus, it was the birth of necessity.
“Son of Man” is probably a title that brings a smile to Jesus. Yes, Son of God and Son of Man. In Jesus, God fulfilled His words to Adam and Eve as they left the Garden, “and the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent.” In the spiritual realm economy, as it operates in the world today, good and evil have a balance sheet. This is not to say the balance is in equal parts, but rather evil has a price of good. Good can redeem an evil act. Life for life, eye for an eye, tooth for tooth (Exodus 21:23-24) quid pro quo is the norm, something of equal or greater value for redemption of something else. It was going to take a perfect man’s righteousness to trade for man’s guilt. Jesus being God and being man was the perfect man. Jesus, the man, without spot or blemish, even the Lamb of God, became a blood sacrifice to atone for the sin of all mankind and gave us an opportunity to have right standing with God. Jesus was a birth of necessity.
“When Messiah comes” is a traditional saying in Jewish households. Jacob’s descendants have the ancient belief that a King would rise from the line of King David and deliver their clan/nation from the oppression of non-Jewish authorities. God promised David that he would have a son that would rule, and the scepter would never depart from him. Jesus is the son of that promise. “For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) God stated that Abraham would be a great nation, and all nations on earth would be blessed through him. (Genesis 18:18) The only way every nation could be blessed through Abraham was by a child that was still in his loins. Jesus is that child, and nations are still being blessed by Him; his birth was a necessity.
Even though the Son of God entered creation empty, he soon filled. As a boy, He became separated from his parents. They found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers. When Mary rebuffed Him, Jesus asked why they were searching for Him. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” We do not always understand that every time the young Jesus heard a scripture, it stirred something in Him. When he heard messianic prophecy, He identified with those words and remembered the glory He had with the Father even before the birth of necessity. The truth is, even though this son of man was born, He has no beginning, and He has no end. As we know it, if the world were to last another ten-thousand years, His birthday would still be a milestone every single year.
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