One of the greatest doctrines, and greatest mysteries, of the Christian faith is the incarnation of Jesus Christ, in which our holy, transcendent Creator took on human flesh and became man. Scripture clearly teaches this truth, and we accept it by faith, yet those of us with inquiring minds still have many questions.
Henry Morris, in his book, Biblical Creationism, discusses some of these questions at length. The following ideas are condensations of his suggestions. While we can never know the details for sure (at least in this life), his explanations at least seem plausible.
The real questions are how can a holy God reside in human flesh? How could Jesus be “true man,” yet without sin? The bible teaches that “in Adam all die” (1Cor. 15:22). All people have inherited a sin nature form Adam – yet in order to be the perfect sacrifice for sin, Jesus Himself had to be sinless. In addition, He was “without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19). How did He escape the inherited genetic mutations and defects which have accumulated since the Fall?
Scripture teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin, so He had no biological father to pass on a sin nature, but what about his mother? Wouldn’t her cells too be affected by inherited sin and genetic mutations? The only answer which seems consistent with Scripture and with our knowledge of human reproduction and genetics is that God specially created the first cell of a body for His Son and placed it in Mary’s womb. Just as Adam, the first man was specially made by God, so also the body of Jesus, the “second man,” was a special creation. As it says in Hebrews 10:3, “a body hast thou prepared me.” (Interestingly, the word for “prepared” is the same one used in Heb. 11:3 for the creation of the world.) Jesus, the Son of God, took up residence in this perfectly created human body. This unique “Seed” planted in Mary’s womb, and born in the normal manner. He was truly human in every way, yet without sin and its physical effects.
What a miracle – Immanuel – God with us – and yet, an even greater miracle occurred when Jesus took our sin upon Himself at Calvary. The perfect Son of God became “sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (11 Cor. 5:21). Can we ever really comprehend such a miracle? Probably not, but we can believe it and praise and worship Him for His great gift of love.
Originally published in the November/December 1993 issue of Think and Believe.