The Virgin Birth cannot be understood in abstraction from the triumphant consummation of Christ’s life in his resurrection, for it is there that the mystery of his Person is revealed. In fact the birth of Jesus of the Virgin Mary and the resurrection of Jesus from the virgin tomb (wherein no human being had ever been laid) are the twin signs which mark out the mystery of Christ, testifying to the continuity and the discontinuity between Jesus Christ and our fallen humanity. Just because the incarnation is not only a once and for all act of assumption of our flesh, but the continuous personal union of divine and human nature in the one Person of the incarnate Son which he carried through our estranged estate under bondage into the freedom and triumph of the resurrection, it is in the resurrection that we see the real meaning of the Virgin Birth, while the Virgin Birth has much to tell us about the resurrection. These are then the twin signs testifying to the miraculous life of the Son of God within our humanity, the one at the beginning and the other at the consummation of the earthly life of Jesus. Both these acts are sovereign creative acts of God’s grace in and upon and out of our fallen humanity, and in the full sense they are one continuous act that includes the whole historical life and work of the incarnate Son. Both these miraculous signs tell us that here within our fallen existence God has acted creatively and redemptively in such continuity with us that we may share in it, but in such discontinuity with our fallen humanity that we may all through sharing in it be liberated from our bondage and decay and corruption and sin to a new life in a new humanity. The birth of Jesus tells us that God acts in Jesus Christ in such a way that the birth does not fall under human power, under the arbitrary forces of human history, or under the causal determinisms of this world, but that in his birth God the Son freely, sovereignty and redemptively enters into them from without. The resurrection tells us that the life and Person of Jesus are not held under the tyrant forces of this world, that though he was born of woman and made under the law, Jesus Christ was not dominated and mastered by our fallen flesh and its judgment, but is triumphant over it all, in achieving his redeeming purpose of reconciling our humanity to fellowship with God.
We can look at it another way. The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ points to the mystery of God’s self-revelation, that God reveals himself within our fallen life, that in his revelation or self-unveiling God veils himself in our humanity. At the birth of Jesus the mystery of Christ as true God and true Man is inserted into our existence and is necessarily veiled, veiled because inserted into ‘the flesh of sin’, as St Paul called it (Rom. 8:3). The resurrection of Christ points to the fact that God unveils himself, reveals himself within human life. Here the mystery of God is resurrected out of our flesh of sin, out of our death and corruption and is unveiled in its glory as true God and true Man in perfect union. The empty tomb points to the revelation of the secret of Christ and as such is the authentication of the Virgin Birth; it is the unveiling of what was veiled, the resurrection out of our mortality of what was inserted into it and recreated within it. But such a resurrection: of true Man and true God points back to the Virgin Birth of Jesus as a union of true God and true Man. The humiliation of Jesus began at Bethlehem and reached its climax on the cross, just before his glorification in resurrection. The new life began at Bethlehem and reached its unveiling in the resurrection. Thus the mystery of the Virgin Birth is the basis of the mystery of the resurrection. By the mystery of the resurrection the mystery of the Virgin Birth becomes effective and understandable. Here we have a closed circle; to deny the Virgin Birth involves a denial of the resurrection, and vice versa.