By the onset of the first century, Israel was looking for a militant leader, one who would usher in his kingdom by force, shaking the surrounding nations and crushing them beneath his supreme power and dominion. And they expected the promised Messiah to be the one to complete this mission.
But the way in which God fulfilled His promise was nothing like what they had expected. And yet, had they truly known Scripture, they would have known that God had already spoken to Israel about the nature of the entrance of the Messiah: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
These words were spoken by the prophet Isaiah, 700 years before they actually took place. And yet with incredible accuracy, Isaiah set forth the manner in which the Messiah would come: an unnamed virgin was to conceive and bear a son. This prophetic word, when added among the others, paints a picture that contradicts the valiant warrior making a grand and earth-shaking entrance that Israel had been expecting.
Jesus was not born into royalty. His earthly parents were not part of the elite, high-ranking aristocracy of Judea. Jesus did not grow up with a formal education, nor did he have a prestigious and high-paying occupation. He did not have campaign supporters that endorsed His upcoming inauguration. He did not seek after a lucrative position of authority. And according to the staunch Israelites who viciously clung to their genealogy of Abraham, He did not even come from a legitimate paternity.
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end...The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.'” (Luke 1:26-35)
“So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us.'” (Matthew 1:22)
Mankind was in need of redemption. Because it was man that had sinned, a man had to die to pay the price for that sin. But that man had to be perfect, both in nature and in character. The one who was to suffer the penalty for sin had to be himself completely sinless, just as Adam had been at his creation. It was for this reason that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was brought forth. As the Son of God, Jesus' entire being was perfect, had all the same human characteristics as Adam, including a will, and yet was without sin. After thousands of years of waiting, the promise of the Savior was fulfilled.
The One who came to be both King and Priest of Israel came into humble beginnings. Everything about Jesus went against everything that the Israelites expected of their Messiah. But the depravity of mankind was not going to be rescued by royalty. It was not the opulence of rulership that was going to set right what had been lost in the Garden of Eden. Instead, the captivity of all mankind was to be eliminated not by a valiant warrior, but a humble servant. Those who choose to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are elevated to an eternal right standing with God. This was the purpose for the contradictory life of the illegitimate son of Joseph, and the Son and Servant of God, Jesus Christ.