What Jesus’ gestation means to those in life-affirming ministry

What Jesus’ gestation means to those in life-affirming ministry (Tim Mossholder/Pexels)

Every year at this time, I ponder the significance of the Son of God coming to dwell among humans as one of us. 

I meditate on how He laid aside His glory so He could carry out His extremely difficult mission to rescue us from sin and death.

Paul tells the Philippians to adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,

“…who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead, he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient

to the point of death—even to death on a cross.” –Philippians 2:6-8

What astonishing humility the Lord of Glory modeled for us! 

Not only did He voluntarily become a servant to us, but He followed through on the plan for our redemption to the point of suffering the most humiliating death possible—crucifixion on a cruel Roman cross.

Jesus’ death demonstrates the lengths to which He went for the sake of our rescue. It shows how much He values and loves us.

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But it’s not just the end of Jesus’ earthly life which shows us the depth of His willingness to identify with humanity.

The beginning of His earthly life does so, too.

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ with joy and hope, an appropriate and worthy celebration. 

Yet especially for those of us in pro-life ministry, it’s good to remember that Jesus’ life didn’t begin at birth.

It began at conception.

Tweet This: Especially for those of us in pro-life ministry, it’s good to remember that Jesus’ life didn’t begin at birth. It began at conception.

Just like every other human being ever born, Jesus began his journey as a zygote. Then He developed further into an embryo, then a fetus.

At last, He was born as an infant.

Surely the reality of this incredibly vulnerable progression speaks loudly of the depths of His love and humility.

The Psalmist writes of this precious and invisible beginning to life:

“For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous,

and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret,

when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.”

–Psalm 139:13-16

Imagine. Jesus Himself was knit together inside the womb of a woman. God formed Him from microscopic zygote to tiny embryo to fetus. 

By the time He was born, Jesus had already lived on earth for nine months—the better part of a year.

He skipped nothing of the human experience, including those dark, mysterious months in utero. He heard His mother’s heartbeat. He listened to her voice speaking. Perhaps she sang songs of praise as she prepared for His arrival.

Jesus probably recognized Joseph’s voice, too. The muffled sounds of music and laughter and conversation.

Jesus’ conception was miraculous and one-of-a-kind. Yet His development and birth were no different from other babies.

Why wasn’t the divine plan to wave a magic wand, hurry up, and get Jesus beyond gestation to birth? 

Something of poetic, profound significance presents itself here.

I believe the phase of life inside the womb was a necessary part of His full identification with us—of emptying Himself of glory and taking on our form, in every humble, even invisible, detail.

Jesus’ identity with humankind, and particularly with the most vulnerable, began during His gestation.

This speaks volumes about how much God values the preborn.

Jesus didn’t skip gestation, nor does God overlook those developing in utero today.

He loves and values every image-bearer. He knits them together in the secret place.

This Christmas let’s reflect on how the Lord of glory lowered Himself to be among us—beginning in the hidden place where those we work to protect abide.

And let’s reflect, too, on the outcome of the Lord’s loving humility on our behalf:

“For this reason, God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—Philippians 2:9-11.

Glory to God in the highest!

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