We can never understand the doctrine of the incarnation, whereby God the Creator became man the creature, for it is beyond the limits of finite comprehension. But we can believe it, for God has "given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). Only the Creator of life could defeat death. Buddha is dead and Mohammed is dead, and so are Confucius and Plato and all the great men who ever lived, but the "Word made flesh" who was "put to death in the flesh" (1 Peter 3:18) has been raised from the dead and is able to "save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him" (Hebrews 7:25).
How Could the Creator Become Man?
His body could not be a body produced by the normal process of human reproduction, for it would have to be a perfect body. In particular, His blood must be "precious blood … as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:19), for that blood must be "offered … without spot to God" (Hebrews 9:14).
Thus the body must be formed directly by God and placed in a virgin's womb. This wonderful body would not grow from a man's seed, as in every other human birth, nor would it grow from a woman's egg, for in either case a sin-carrying and mutation-carrying embryo would necessarily result.
When Did the Creator Become Man?
It has become customary in much of the world to observe the Creator's incarnation on December 25. However, the fact is that no one really knows the date of His birth. Nevertheless, there is one particularly intriguing possibility: on the night Christ was born, shepherds were in the field watching their sheep (Luke 2:8). Although it is barely possible that this could be in late December, it seems far more likely that it would be sometime in the early fall.
If so, it is significant that there was an ancient Christian feast called Michaelmas, observed on September 29. The name "Michaelmas" means "Michael sent," just as "Christmas" means "Christ sent." It is very probable that Michael was the "angel of the Lord" (Luke 2:9) who was sent from heaven to announce the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. However, this was not His incarnation. He had already been "made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:7) nine months earlier, when He created a body for Himself and took up His residence in Mary's womb. That was the time when "the Word was made flesh!"
And so it may be beautifully significant that the real "Christmas" (i.e., "Christ sent"), would have been nine months earlier than "Michaelmas," But that brings us back to December 25 again! The actual number of days between the two dates is 278, which is an ideal period of human gestation.
Whether or not these inferences are correct, they at least yield a greater appreciation of His miraculous conception. How appropriate it would be for Him to enter the world right at the season of darkest and longest night, for He would come as "the light of the world" (John 8:12) to bring "life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). Then, at "Christmas" time, we can remember with deep thanksgiving when "God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him" (1 John 4:9).
Why Did the Creator Become Man?
This greatest of all questions has the most wonderful of all answers!
"For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17).
"When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law" (Galatians 4:4,5).
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).
How infinitely sad it is that so many today reject or ignore such a gracious, loving, holy, powerful Creator/Redeemer. Not only do they miss all the true meaning and blessing of Christmas now, but, unless they respond to Him in repentance and faith, they will be everlastingly separated from Him in the glorious eternal ages to come.
Condensed from "When God Became Man" by Henry Morris. Used by permission of Institute for Creation Research