The Child of Mary, The Son of God…
One of the most significant and unique miracles recorded in scripture is the birth of Jesus Christ. Miraculous birth has been well chronicled in the scriptures, among the most notable being the birth of Isaac to his aged mother and father Sarah and Abraham. Another, just prior to the birth of the Savior, was John, who would be called the Baptist, to his childless parents Elizabeth and Zacharias, being stricken with age. In both circumstances, as other notable occurrences, it appears that some restorative healing occurred that allowed a mother who had previously been unable to give birth, to be able to carry a child fathered by her husband to full-term. In the case of the baby Jesus, He was brought into the world by miraculous godly power unique to all other circumstances. His immortal biological lineage was required for the Lord to fulfill the atoning mission.
Why a virgin mother, who was a mortal, and an immortal Father in Heaven? The Savior’s atoning mission depended upon His special and unique biology. “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, ‘Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end’” (Luke 1:26-33).
Jesus had to have a mortal mother so that He could have a body susceptible to every pain and trauma ever to be suffered by mankind. In order to atone one must be able to feel as others feel, and then die as others die. The Redeemer was really the only person ever to be born who could fully know empathy for every living soul. One of the most common phrases in human vernacular, “I know how you feel,” for all its good intention, is most often used incorrectly. Only the Savior can say, “I know how you feel,” and do it truly knowing always.
With all the necessary suffering applied to pay the price of sin for all mankind and to redeem every living thing, immortal lineage and biology was also required. “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’” (Luke 1:34-35).
Jesus had to have an immortal father because a mortal could not withstand the suffering that would be necessary to atone for all. He would fall unconscious and or die long before the process could be complete. This suffering would go infinitely beyond human capacity, therefore requiring immortality. With His Divine lineage the Lord was able to endure all things only yielding to human frailty when the time of death was necessary, and then expressing full immortality in raising Himself from the grave.
Jesus Christ declared, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17–18). As President Russell M. Nelson taught, “According to eternal law, that atonement required a personal sacrifice by an immortal being not subject to death. Yet He must die and take up His own body again. The Savior was the only one who could accomplish this. From His mother He inherited power to die. From His Father He obtained power over death” (General Conference, October 1993).
“I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”
‘Jesus the Christ’ — by Del Parson
Without His mortal and immortal biological lineage the infinite atonement would not have been possible, justice could not have been satisfied, and grace through mercy never applied. But these demands were met in the perfect answer to all the hopes of the children of God. As the angel declared unto Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). The child of Mary, the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father, was born into this world, and overcame it. I am forever grateful for my Redeemer and this witness, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.