Christmas – the time of year when Christians celebrate the Virgin Birth of Jesus. It was prophesied in Genesis 3:15 that Messiah would be brought forth from the seed of a woman: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Jesus’ set time to come was also prophesied in Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Jesus fulfilled over 400 prophecies concerning his birth, life, and death. For a man to fulfil just eight of those prophecies requires the probability of 1 in 10 with 28 zeros after it; a feat only God Himself could accomplish. Arguably, the most important prophecy fulfilled was that of the Virgin Birth. If Christ were not born of a virgin, He could not offer us salvation. He had to be born of uncorrupted seed, a sinless man, and would be called “Immanuel” which means “God with us”.
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
The virgin birth and subsequently Christ’s sacrifice at the cross provides salvation and righteousness to all who would believe in Him. The Virgin Birth was so important that around A.D. 200 the father of Latin Christianity Tertullian wrote: “Whosoever wishes to see Jesus the son of David must believe in Him through the Virgin’s birth. He who will not believe this will not hear from Him the salutation, ‘Thy faith hath saved thee.’ And so he will remain blind, falling into antithesis after antithesis, which mutually destroy each other. Just as the blind man leads the blind down into the ditch.” (The writings of Tertullian, part 2, chapter 36).
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:24-26
A prophecy told in Jeremiah set the stage for the Virgin Birth and concerns that of King Coniah (also known as Jeconiah and Jehoiachin) whom came to rule in 597 B.C. during the siege of King Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem.
Joseph and Mary had four sons, Jesus, James, Jose, Simon, and Judas and an unknown number of sisters. All of the siblings came from royalty and have a family linage from the tribe of Judah that goes back to King David.
55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Matthew 13:55, 56
Although all 5 brothers came from a royal line, only Jesus qualified to be King of Kings for he was born of a virgin and if He was born any other way, then God could not literally be His father.
In less than 100 years after Christ’s sacrifice and one of the earliest theologians to address this subject was Ignatius (A.D. 30-107), a disciple of the Apostle John. In one of his epistles he writes: “Stop your ears, therefore, when anyone speaks to you at variance with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly begotten of God and of the Virgin, but not after the same manner. For indeed God and man are not the same. He truly assumed a body; for “the Word was made flesh,” and he lived upon Earth without sin”. “Mary did truly conceive a body, which had God inhabiting it.” (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, chapter 9 and 10). Why were the brothers of Jesus disqualified from the throne? Let’s return to the prophecy against King Coniah.
In the autumn of 609 B.C. Pharaoh Necco appointed Jehoiakim as king to Judah; however Egypt was soon to give up Judah to the Babylonians. Judah was subject to three Babylonian invasions (for the years 606, 597, and 586 B.C.). The 597 B.C. invasion was a result of Jehoiakim renouncing his allegiance to Babylon which led to his eighteen year old son, Coniah, taking the throne for three months and ten days. Coniah in his naïve state of mind led his whole family out to meet King Nebuchadnezzar whom were quickly arrested, deported, and imprisoned in Babylon. God cursed Coniah’s future generations as recorded in Jeremiah.
Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? 29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord. 30 Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah. Jeremiah 22:28-30
There is the prophecy. Jeconiah’s (Coniah) linage was disqualified from the throne of David. As Jeconiah is listed in Matthew’s genealogy (Matt. 1:11), Jesus would have been affected by the curse had he been the begotten son of Joseph. Jesus had to be born a virgin, and as for his four brothers, the curse of Coniah was upon them!
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6