The name and image of the Biblical character of Mary, is widely acquainted in the mind of Christians alike, but to what extend is she known by the individual Christian? Is unknown.
Before the exposition of Mary, we will study the reason and the role she served, which must all point to Christ.
An inhabitant of Nazareth, a teenager of the time of our text, and more so, a virgin. Not merely a young lady (as some translations put it), but a virgin.
The virgin from whom would come forth the Lord Jesus Christ and the phrase the virgin birth, which is ascribed to Mary and the conception of our Lord. The virgin birth shouldn't be looked at as merely a religious title. Instead, it is a doctrinal foundation of our faith. Without the virgin birth, there is no Christianity as we know it. Therefore, there would be no salvation, redemption, sanctification, neither glorification and the hope of eternal life.
To understand the scope of the virgin birth is to foremost recognize the reason for the virgin birth. In the beginning God made of one blood all nations of men. That is to say, there is but one thing which relates all men together, the blood.
The blood in our bodies, diverse bodies, but one blood. We are told in Leviticus 17:11. The life (soul) of the flesh is in the blood. Therefore, God made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.
All men are of one blood, and that blood was the blood of our father, the first man, Adam. Due to Adam's sin, sin effected the blood. We do not yet fully understand the destructive effects of sin in its totality, but through a simple illustration, we can grasp to an extent the ravaging effect of sin.
The life of the human body is found in the blood, hence without blood there is no life, an affected blood, leads to an infected body. The life in all men is a flow from God unto us. Genesis 2:7 . . . God breathed into the nostrils of man, the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Therefore, imagine the source of the life of man as a steady flow of water, like unto a faucet into a bowl. Whereas, an intrusion is made by placing an obstacle in the path of the flowing water, (that obstacle is sin) Neither is the intruding obstacle steady, but rather it is going in the opposite direction of the flowing water. This will result into commotion and disorder, forming puddles, leaving the mark of stain, causing a stench (offensively unpleasant). In essence effecting its surrounding and ultimately the diminish of water to the bowl, and the decline of water from the faucet.
The water in this illustration represents the life from God to us. The obstacle which intrudes the path of the water is sin. One of sin's definitions is rebellion. The act of rebellion is to go in an opposite direction, like the intruding obstacle in the path of the flowing water. The effects of the commotions as listed, are some of the many effects of sin.
Mark of stain
In the case of men, life is in the blood, the life which is from God. Sin causes intrusion and the contamination of the blood. As stated, through Adam, God made one blood of all nations of men. Adam sinned, therefore, sin enters the world, thereby sin is passed to all men through a corruptible bloodline (Romans 5:12).
The wages of sin is death, spiritual death. Which will ultimately lead to physical death, unless there is a remission of sin through an infusion of a sinless incorruptible blood, but how can this be? Through Adam all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. Therefore, there is none perfect, no, not one, but the life which is in men is from God, and the life of the flesh is in the blood.
Though the life of men became corrupted through sin, but the source of life which is from God was not affected. Therefore, the fallen race of Adam only hope for the remission of sin is God, but there arose another quandary. For how can God who is a Spirit, impute His righteousness onto a fallen, sinful man, through the means of a perfect blood? To answer this, is to bring forth the term incarnation, and the virgin birth.
God had to become man, in order to save men, through the sharing of His blood on the Cross. The evidence of such is recorded in 1 Timothy 3:16… great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit… Though the Creator took on the form of man, but unlike the rest of humanity, He did not take on the sinful nature of man, for He was Justified in the Spirit, that is to say declared righteous in Spirit.
One might ask, how can He take on the form of a sinful corruptible unrighteous humanity, yet remains perfect?
To understand this, is to bring us closer to acknowledge the importance of the virgin birth and the understanding thereof.
Thus, we read in Hebrews 2:14. As the children of Adam are partakers of flesh and blood, meaning all who are born, are born with Adam's sinful blood, thereby rendering the flesh sinful as well, but He (Christ) also Himself likewise took part of the same. Christ took part of the same, meaning He became flesh and blood like we are, to destroy the source of sin.
Through His death as a perfect sacrifice, He destroyed the power of sin. Though Christ became like us to destroy the problem for all humanity which is sin. Yet He remains perfect. To further understand this aspect of Christ is to acknowledge the virgin birth, which in other words, is the perfection of Christ being born perfect.
Two key phrases, partakers and took part
As the children of Adam are partakers of his flesh and blood, but Christ took part of the same. The word took part, when applied to Christ is a completely different word from partakers when applied to the children of Adam, or humanity in general.
The word partakers is the Greek word koinoneo, and means, to have a share in common with someone else, or to fully share. Thus, all of humanity has in common with one another, and fully shared the flesh and blood as it was with Adam, but Jesus Christ, who also was born as a man, He took part of the same, meaning He became man, with flesh and blood. However, the phrase describing Christ's humanity is took part; is the Greek word metecho, which means "to hold with", or to take part, but not all.
Hence, Christ took hold of humanity by becoming man, but He did not take part of the sinful aspect of humanity.
All of humanity are born in sin, through Adam's sinful blood, for the seed of procreation is in the man, which is his blood. Life as we know it begins at conception, when the seed of the man is joined with the egg of the woman. But due to Adam's corrupt blood, all are born under the curse of sin, but Christ was not born of the seed of a man like we all are, He was born of the Spirit (Luke 1:35).
Therefore, though He inherit the human body, but the life of His body which is in the blood was from God. He was housed in an undefiled vessel. Mary served as this undefiled vessel, for His perfect body. Nevertheless, she did not impute His perfection, but rather His perfection is from God. As the Son of God, He did not inherit any traits from Mary, His mother.
Unlike Christ, all of humanity took part in Adam's sinful blood, thus rendering our body sinful as well because the blood of man is in the seed of procreation. However, the birth of Christ was a spiritual conception through the virgin birth.
Mary egg was't fertile by the seed of a man, rather it became alive by the spoken Word of God. (John 1:14)
The exposition of this study is about Mary, however, the preceding texts dealt extensively with the Lord Jesus Christ. This isn’t a writer roaming away from the point of the text. To better understand who we are, we ought to first know who Christ is to us. Mary served as the representation of us in types, with our relationship with the Lord then and now.
The name Mary is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Miryâm, or Miriam, a personal name of an uncertain meaning. With further study, it perhaps indicates, “bitter, defiant, God’s gift and beloved”
Herein, we will later see the illustration of what we were, and how we became who we are now, in Christ.
Mary, a descendent of the tribe of Judah, the tribe of the great king of Israel, David. Being a descendent of David, this placed her in a position of royalty, without nothing to show for, due to the occupation and the rule of the Roman empire over Israel, at the time of our text.
The correlation of Mary as a type of the Christian is that, though we be of a royal descendent, but the validation of our royalty is only manifested if we are one with Christ. If we are promised greatness, the fulfillment of the promise is only realized in Christ and our fellowship with Him, to the Father.
Apart from that, like the possible description of the name, we are bitter, without solution we become defiant, but with Jesus Christ, God’s gift to us, our situation shall be reverse that we may be called the beloved of the Father.
One cannot talk about Mary without Christ being the focus of the conversation. This is the true representation of the Christian. The glory of the Christian is not in who they are, but what Christ has done in them. Though we do not cease to exist, but knowing this, the life we live, we live because of Christ.
As a young girl, though she didn’t fully understand God’s will, but by faith she accepted. In her humble words, be it unto me according to Thy word.
Being with Child of the Holy Spirit, she sacrificed her character for those who didn’t comprehend her pregnancy.
As a mother, she raised the Lord, but knew He was her Lord. Whatsoever He said unto you, do it, she said to the gathering of locals and nobles. (John 2:5)
The little we do know of her adult life is, she was likely a widow during the time of Christ ministry, while abandoned by her other children for her support of Christ. Of whom they were all ashamed of, by the denying of who He was, the Messiah. (they did accept Him after His Resurrection from the dead.) Nevertheless, as a woman of faith and a mother, Mary always stood by Him, as a child, and as an adult, even at the foot of the Cross, watching Him die. Never wavering her faith in Him, she would not leave His side.
Thousands of years before her, humanity fell through a woman (Eve). Greater is the love of God than any failure, God chooses to use another woman (Mary) as the portal from which the Redeemer would redeem humanity.
She served her purpose not as a co-redeemer or redemptrix. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5)
May we acknowledge her faith and the blessing of God upon her life as an example of all who follow thereafter, in likeness of her. Be it unto me according to Thy word, Lord.