In Part 1 of this two-part post, we looked at two reasons Jesus was born of a virgin: 1) to demonstrate that Jesus is the Christ; and 2) to illustrate how Jesus would deliver His people from Sheol, the place of the dead.
For this part, we need to start at the beginning…in the Garden of Eden…with Adam’s original sin…
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel. (Genesis 3:15)
This first recorded Messianic prophecy was spoken by God, to the serpent, after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Even before God banished Adam and Eve from the garden, He had already made plans for a coming Messiah to redeem them.
Think about that phrase for a moment, her seed. Throughout scripture, the seed is always pictured as coming from the man, while the woman’s womb is pictured as a fertile (or barren) environment for the seed to develop into a child. Yet here, in this first promise of a coming Messiah, God speaks of the woman’s seed. From the very beginning, God had already planned for Jesus to be conceived without an earthly father…to be born of a virgin. Jesus is the seed of the woman.
And I will put enmity…between your seed and her seed…
The seed of the woman is Jesus Christ. Who is the seed of the serpent? Jesus tells us in John 8:39-45:
Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. (emphasis mine)
The seed of the serpent are those who do the deeds of Satan…those who are at enmity with God…those who walk in sin. The seed of the serpent are all the descendants of Adam who do not believe in Jesus as the Christ (1 John 5:1&19).
Adam was created in covenant with God (Genesis 1:27 & 2:7, Hosea 6:7). When Adam sinned, he entered into covenant with the kingdom of darkness. This is the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17)…being in covenant with both good and evil.
Remember those fictional stories about people making deals with the devil? Stories like The Devil and Daniel Webster? The people in those stories were helpless and scared because the devil gained legal right to their souls, and there was nothing they could do to change it.
This was the issue facing mankind, after Adam’s fall. The devil had legal claim over Adam’s soul, as well as Adam’s God-given authority over the earth. The issue was one of legal claim.
In the Old Testament, covenant is an inheritance, passed down from father to son. The sons inherited not only the father’s property, but also his covenant relationships, including his debts. This father-to-son covenant inheritance is clearly illustrated in the mark of the covenant given to Abraham, of circumcising all male children (Genesis 17:9-10).
So, not only were Adam and Eve in covenant with the kingdom of darkness, but all of their descendants were, as well. What a hopeless seeming situation! How are we to escape the kingdom of darkness, when it is inherited from birth? Each human child born into the world is born into Adam’s covenant with evil.
Every child, that is, except Jesus!
Jesus was born of a virgin! Jesus is the seed of the woman, conceived with no earthly father. Though Jesus is a descendant of Adam, He had no earthly birth father from whom to inherit a covenant. Conceived of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was born in covenant with God but not in covenant with evil.
As the only descendant of Adam not born in covenant with the kingdom of darkness, only Jesus was qualified to act as our Kinsman Redeemer. Only Jesus could redeem us from the kingdom of darkness and bring us into the kingdom of God.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
I will make justice the measuring line
And righteousness the level;
Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies
And the waters will overflow the secret place.
Your covenant with death will be canceled,
And your pact with Sheol will not stand… (Isaiah 28:16-18)
Only Jesus was qualified to be our Kinsman Redeemer, and His virgin birth was an essential part of God’s plan of redemption.
What a Redeemer!