Isaiah 7:14 (KJV) “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
What’s in a word? Other versions of the Scriptures substitute the words “young woman” for “virgin” in this verse. Avoiding any tittering and tee-heeing on the subject, does it really matter? The short answer is “Yes!”
Isaiah tells us three very significant things in 7:14: #1) that “the Lord Himself” is the giver of the sign, #2) that the sign involves the child being named “Immanuel” (which means “God with us” Mat 1:23) and #3) that it will be a virgin who will conceive this Holy Child. It is fair to assert that Holy Inspiration is a critical part of accepting Isaiah’s prophecy, and that each of the three very significant things included are critical to the Christian faith. That God gave the sign, that this is God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16) and that, as the supernatural conception of God Almighty, this Holy Child Jesus could not be fathered by human means, are all essential tenets of the Christian faith. It must be a miracle! And this is the true essence of the miracle of Christmas!
Understand that the New Testament is no testament at all apart from the virgin birth. Announced specifically to Mary as such by Gabriel (Luke 1:34-35 “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” And this was also confirmed to Mary’s future husband, Joseph (Matthew 1:20 “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”)
The LORD Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, come to die for our sins as only God could effectively accomplish, and He came in the only fitting way possible to be both Deity and human flesh. The Incarnation is the enfleshment and it all makes sense as we prayerfully ponder it. A “young woman” is blessed with her own miracle in bringing forth a child, but by the grace of God that has happened millions of times over and occurs on a daily basis. But when the Holy Ghost, with absolutely no physical interaction whatsoever, miraculously brings conception in the womb of a virgin to bring forth Immanuel, God with us, now that’s a sign!
And speaking of signs, Jesus said this in Luke 11:30 “For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.” It’s Christmas time here in the good old USA, and we see nice signs posted everywhere proclaiming the season. It’s all great, but the greatest sign ever is the sign of a virgin conceiving, bearing a son, and calling his name “The LORD Jesus Christ – Emmanuel!” “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
Love to all,