The New Testament refers to Christ’s birth for two primary purposes.
1. Prophetic – to connect Christ’s coming in fulfillment of ancient prophecy.
- Incarnation (Micah 5:2; Jn. 5:23; 14:9-10; Jn. 1:14; Col. 2:9; I Tim. 3:16).
- Virgin birth (Isa. 7;14; Lk. 1:35; Mt. 1:18, 25; Lk. 1:26-38).
2. Redemptive – to connect Christ’s coming as our Savior from sin — through His self-giving, sacrificial death on the cross.
- Christ bore the penalty of our sin to accomplish our reconciliation (Rom. 5:6-11; II Cor. 5:18-21; I Jn. 4:9).
- “The crucial significance of the cradle at Bethlehem lies in its place in the sequence of steps down that led the Son of God to the cross of Calvary” (J.I. Packer).
- Christ’s death is the only way of salvation for humanity (Rom. 3:21-26; 4:25; 5:12-19).
Born to die for us
- “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir” (Galatians 4:4-7).
- “God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us” (Romans 8:3-4).
- “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (I John 4:9-10).