A Virgin shall Bear a Son


“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.”(Isaiah 7:14-15)


      The Lord God not only declared, “a virgin shall conceive,” he asserted that she would still be a virgin when she gave birth to her child. — “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son!


      Who but God would have made such a promise? Who but God could pull it off? We commonly lay great stress upon the fact that Mary was a virgin when the holy humanity of our Redeemer was conceived in her womb. But that is not the wonder and the mystery of this promise. There is no wonder or mystery to that at all, if the ordinary means of conception had been employed. But the prophecy implied what its fulfillment proved. — This was no ordinary conception and no ordinary birth! This was conception without the aid of a man and a birth that opened a virgin’s womb! When Mary brought forth her son, she was still a virgin!


The Law of the Firstborn


The Lord God gave a special command in the law with regard to the firstborn (Exodus 13:2). God said, “The firstborn is mine.” But notice how he identifies the firstborn. The firstborn is described as “whatsoever openeth the womb.” This law, given back in Exodus 13, was just one of the many reaffirmations of God’s promise in Genesis 3:15, that he would send his Son into the world to redeem and save his people as the Seed of the woman. The womb is opened in conception, not in giving birth. But he who is our Redeemer, Jehovah’s Firstborn, opened his mother’s womb when he came forth from the womb, crying, “Lo! I come to do thy will, O God!” Never was the womb opened by birth except by the birth of Mary’s first child.


      The Holy Spirit specifically tells us that the law given in Exodus 13:2 was fulfilled in our Savior’s incarnation (Luke 2:23). Our blessed Savior, “the firstborn,” was conceived in Mary’s virgin womb by the overshadowing power of God the Holy Spirit. He opened Mary’s virgin womb when he came forth from it to accomplish our redemption. Thus, throughout the Levitical dispensation, the firstborn of man and beast directed the eye of faith to him whom the triune God appointed to have everlasting preeminence as “the Firstborn.” In all things it is, was, and forever shall be the will of the eternal God that Christ have preeminence as the God-man, our Mediator and Redeemer.


God’s Work


This is God’s work. It has the stamp of God upon it. — “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes!” He who formed the first Adam out of the dust of the earth formed the last Adam in the womb of a virgin. The Headstone of the corner was cut out of the mountain without hands (Daniel 2:34). What a miracle of mercy we have before us! — The incomprehensible God, that circle whose center is everywhere, whose circumference nowhere, was encircled and cooped up for nine months in the womb of a virgin! — The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man” (31:22); and thus it came to pass!


      Behold Jehovah’s Firstborn! He opened “the womb of the morning” when he stood forth as our Surety in the eternal covenant with the Father (Psalm 110:3). He opened the womb of the virgin when he came into the world to perform his work as our Surety. And he opened the womb of the earth in his resurrection when he had finished his work.





Don Fortner



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