Question 69 & 70


How could the eternal* Son of God suffer in the place of sinful* people?


Jesus, the Son of God, became a man.


 John 1:14Galatians 4:4,5Colossians 2:9



How did the Son of God become a man?


He was conceived* by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin* Mary.


Isaiah 7:14Matthew 1:18-21


There are many stories of important births in the Bible.*[1]


In the first chapters of Genesis, God made a promise to Abraham.* God promised Abraham that he would become a great nation. This nation would bless* all people. But there was a problem. Abraham did not have a son. Abraham’s wife, Sarah,* could not have children. And she was too old to have children. But God kept his promise to Abraham. Sarah had a son. She gave birth to the child God had promised.


There are many stories like this in the Bible. At important times in the history of God’s people, God used the birth of a child to bring hope.* The stories of the birth of Moses*, Samson*, and Samuel* are like that. So, God’s people learned that the promise of the birth of a child was a sign of hope.


The story of the birth of Jesus is that kind of story. But this is the best of those stories. A woman would give birth to a son. This son would be the one to save his people from their sins.* But his birth would be different than any other. He would be born of a woman who had never been with a man.


But how could a woman have a child without a man? How could a virgin give birth to a son?


Since the beginning, a baby begins to grow inside a woman only after she is joined with a man. A baby needs to have a father and a mother. Mary knew this.[2] Joseph* knew this.[3] But something happened that had never happened before. Mary was a virgin. She had never been with a man. But a baby began to grow inside of Mary’s body. This child would be God’s son. He would have God as his father.


But God did not join himself to Mary as a man joins himself to a woman. God, the maker of all things, created* life in the body of Mary. The Holy Spirit brought a new life into Mary’s womb.*


In every other way, the birth of Jesus was just like the birth of any other baby. His body grew in Mary’s womb. Mary gave birth to Jesus in the same way that all mothers give birth. But in one way, Jesus’ birth was the only one of its kind. Jesus was born of a virgin.


The Bible tells us that this was a miracle* from God. The Holy Spirit would cause a baby to grow in Mary’s body. So, Jesus was the Son of God. And Jesus was Mary’s son as well. The baby that was born of Mary was both God and man at the same time. Everything that is true of the nature of God was true of Jesus.[4] Everything that is true of the nature of a man was true of Jesus as well. All except for one thing. Jesus had no sin.


Through the virgin birth, Jesus came into the world that he made. He became a man and lived among us.[5] But why did Jesus, the son of God, need a body?


God is spirit.* He does not have a body like men. Because God is eternal, God cannot die. So how could God suffer in the place of sinful people? How could God take the punishment for men?


To do this, Jesus, the Son of God, became a man. He took on a body so that he became one of us. He became one of us so that he could suffer in our place.[6] Jesus became a human so that he could suffer and take upon himself the suffering that sinful people deserve.


That is not the only reason Jesus became a man. Jesus also became a man to show us what God is like. He became a man to show us the kind of life that pleases God. He came to win a victory over all of the evil* that worked against those he loves.[7] Jesus would show us how to live and set an example for us to follow.[8]


But Luke* tells us that one of the most important reasons Jesus became a man is this. Jesus became a man so that he could suffer and rise from the dead.[9]

[1] Exodus 2:1-10; Judges 13:1-25; 1 Samuel 1:1-20
[2] Luke 1:34
[3] Matthew 1:18-20
[4] Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9
[5] John 1:14; Romans 1:3
[6] Hebrews 2:14-18
[7] Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8
[8] John 13:34; 15:12; 1 Peter 2:21
[9] Luke 24:16; Acts 17:3