If April 1 is April Fools’ Day, then March 25 is Divine Fool’s Day. Falling nine months before Christmas, it’s the day when God set in motion what appeared to be a foolish plan. The Creator of heaven and earth became a two-celled human zygote gradually drifting down the fallopian tube of an unwed Jewish virgin. Every few hours, he doubled his number of cells until, a few days later, he made himself at home inside her uterus. There he would remain for the summer and fall. A God swimming in amniotic fluid. A God growing a heart and liver and lungs. A God kick-starting a plan that seemed to have failure written all over it.
How would this ever work? What was he thinking, becoming one of us? What we need is a mega-God not a mini-human. Give us an almighty deity not a helpless fetus. We want a muscular Jesus to stand strong in heaven and do powerful stuff to fix our lives and save the world. But it’s so like our backwards God to defy our expectations and become a baby. It’s the kind of thing only a Lord of love would do. Everything we have been, he wanted to be, including an unborn child, so that everything we are would be saved by him.
All babies conceived are not only the object of heaven’s love; each is a tiny human reflection of the God who was once in a womb himself. Jesus, who fills all things, was once so small you’d have to kneel before a microscope to gaze at the God you worship.
In the magnitude of his mercy, he joined ranks with the weak, the dependent, the vulnerable of humanity.
But we’re not just talking about unborn babies; Jesus joined ranks with their mothers as well. Mary gave him his DNA. She fed him with her own body. He was closer to no human than he was to her. Mary felt the feet of God kick inside her stomach. And like many of those who get pregnant today, the mother of Jesus was a teenager. Her own fiancé almost dumped her when he found out she was pregnant. From the moment Jesus entered our world, he was surrounded by suffering people in desperate situations.
That’s the situation of many unmarried women today who get pregnant, as well as the men who get them pregnant. They’re scared. They’re confused. They’re desperate. They’re desperate to believe almost anything that will make this all go away, including the lie that their unborn baby is just tissue and not real human life. In far too many situations, these are the couples who fall prey to groups like Planned Parenthood. Fear ignites a desperate fire within them that often mistakes gasoline for water. In desperation, they snatch at something, anything, that they think will help extinguish the flames. But it only makes matters worse—much worse. When they opt for abortion, not only do they take the life of their children, they conceive within their souls a monster of shame and guilt and regret whose gestation period threatens to last a lifetime.
There is a love that is stronger than death, including the death of abortion. It is a strong love hidden in the weakness of the baby inside Mary. It is a strong love that remained hidden even when this baby became a toddler, then a teen, and finally a man whose mercy gushed out in streams of blood when he gave his life on the cross. This love is life itself, the life of God as a man, which he offers and gives to all, including the unwanted, the discarded, the desperate, the guilty, the shamed.
There is a reason Jesus didn’t just jump down to earth as a thirty year old man ready to fulfill his Father’s mission. Because that’s not us. And to save us he had to become like us. We begin as that two-celled zygote in the fallopian tube, so God became that. We spend nine months in the womb, so God did that, too. But he wasn’t just following in our fetal footsteps, he was saving us every inch of the way. His conception hallows our conception. His time in the uterus sanctifies our time there. His birth cleanses our birth. His intimate bond with his mother binds him in love to all mothers and fathers. God infuses every stage of human existence with divine compassion. He knows us. He loves us. He is one of us. And he saves us, no matter how small or big a human we might be.
For every unwanted, aborted child, Jesus the child conceives a saving love that knows no bounds. For every desperate mother who murders her baby, Jesus the baby was born to set her free from guilt and shame. For every employee of Planned Parenthood, Jesus the physician of soul and body, shed his blood on the cross to reconcile them to his Father. For every boyfriend or parent who has strong-armed a girlfriend or daughter into an abortion, Jesus the man stretched out his arms and died to make peace between them and heaven. There is no sin so big that God’s love is not still bigger. There is no shame so great that his holiness cannot clothe it with honor. Show him your sands of guilt and he’ll point you to the mountain of his love.
But he also turns to the desperate, delinquent mother and says, “You come too.” And to the doctor still holding the forceps, he says, “And you as well.” Such is the absurd and holy scandal of the incarnation.
Have you had an abortion? Have you supported or performed an abortion? Jesus will remove the monster of shame and guilt and regret and fill that chasm inside you with himself, with a love stronger than death, a love that transforms you into a son or daughter of God—beautiful, chosen, royal. He is not against you but for you. With every fiber of his being, every cell of his body, he is your advocate and friend. This child of Mary makes you a child of your heavenly Father.
Chad is an author and speaker who's devoted to honest Christianity that addresses the raw realities of life with the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ. Chad has served as a pastor and assistant professor of OT theology, contributed hymns to the Lutheran Service Book, and cohosts the podcast “Forty Minutes in the OT.” He holds Master's degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College. In addition to writing the books, Christ Alone and The Infant Priest, he has contributed articles to Modern Reformation, The Federalist, Concordia Pulpit Resources, and other journals. His new book with Eerdmans, Night Driving: Notes from a Prodigal Soul, is now available for pre-order at Amazon. His writings and other resources can be found at his website, chadbird.com. Chad and his wife, Stacy, enjoy life together in the Texas Hill Country.