But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)
* When the fulness of time had come … Jesus came into the world at just the right time. There is a precision of God’s dealings with our fallen race, nothing is left to chance. The coming of Jesus Christ into this world was foretold from the very beginning. The prophecies have a finer precision than a swiss watch.
We are told centuries in advance, that the deliverer of mankind would be of the seed of Abraham, and of Isaac and Jacob, and of Jacob’s twelve sons, the tribe of Judah. When the murderous Herod inquired of a court Rabbi, where the Christ was to be born, without hesistation, the Rabbit cited the prophet Micah,
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.(Micah 5:2)
As for the time of the birth, Daniel gave a remarkable prophecy which detailed the exact time of the Messiah’s coming, presentation and substitutionary death,
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself… (Daniel 9:25-26a)
Accounting for the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem by the Persians in 444 BC , and the fact that a year as reckoned by the Jews is 360 days, Daniels 69 weeks of years(483) would calculate Jesus as presenting himself tot he Jewish people to be “cut off, but not for himself…” in 32 AD.
For a detailed examination of this check out Daniel’s Seventy Weeks .
Another aspect of the “fulness of time” would be the meticulous preparation of the world by God for the arrival of the Messiah.Daniel again predicted four successive world empires which would rule the Jewish people, Babylon,Persia,Greece,and Rome. Although it was a judgment and humiliation to be ruled by these pagan’s God worked it all for His glory and our good!
The Babylonians uprooted the Jewish people, and carried them away to Babylon, but also spread them throughout the empire. Thus by the time of the MEssiah, there were Jewish synagogues set up throughout the known world. Persia was used to finance the return to the Holy land of the remnant and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple, the very temple Jesus would come to. “The Lord whom you seek shall come suddenly to His temple…”.
Greece would succeed Babylon, and Alexander the great would conquer the known world, and impose upon them one language, Greek. This lingua franca would allow for the scriptures to spread rapidly to every city, village and hamlet, and would pave the way for the apostles of the gospel.The Hebrew scriptures were translated into the Septuagint, and the New testament was transmitted almost entirely in greek.
Finally the Romans would impose a Pax Romana on the world, lining the empire with efficient roads, clearing the seas of the plague of piracy, impose a stern but efficient law and order on the world, just in time for the spread of the gospel.
*God Sent Forth His Son… The nativity is of God the everlasting Father. It is the gift of the Holy God, who saw our plight, that we were “dead in our trespasses and sins…” and liable to His holy and just judgment. The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world… . God is the eternal Father, and Jesus is the eternal Son. What a deep mystery!
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.(Isaiah 9:6-7)
* Born of a Woman- This is a reference to the primal prophecy, the first gospel, announced to the serpent in the garden in the hearing of the guilty couple, who trembled as they awaited their sentencing for their sin. A ray of hope penetrated the gloom, when God told the serpent that the “seed of the woman” would one day deal a capitol blow to the serpent.
Adam and Eve knew that this “seed of the woman” would bring the fallen race deliverance from death, so they waited Him to come.
Seed of the woman? How could that be? But when Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, the seed of the woman prophecy came to pass! He doesn’t have the corrupted nature inherited from Adam. He is the new Adam, in fact the last Adam, the head of a redeemed race of reborn men!
Romans 5 tells us that the first Adam made us all sinners, but the Last Adam makes us who believe in Him, righteous! Greater is the work of the Last Adam than that of the first!
* Born under the Law … The Son of God became a man, He put himself in our position ,as a man under God. He was circumcised ( which presupposes guilt), dedicated unto God under the law, and He fulfilled in his 33 years every single requirement of the Law of God, up to and including sacrificial law.
This is the only human being who perfectly pleased God in every respect, the only One of whom God could say, “this is my beloved Son, in Him I am well pleased!”. He did not sin, but was “numbered with the transgressors”, and perfectly identified with we who are the Sons of Adam.
Jesus never denigrated the Law of God, He glorifies it. He himself is the very embodiment of the Law of God. He is what loving God looks like, in him is perfection of piety. His life is really what worship is.
Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;(Hebrews 5:7)
* That He might Redeem us who are under the law… The reason for all of the above is that Jesus might Redeem us, that is, that He might purchase us from our bondage. We who are under God’s law, are only condemned by it. We don’t “love the Lord our God with all of our hearts…” but we should. We aren’t ready for judgment, for we lack Righteousness. the wages of sin is death, we deserve to die and eternal death!
But this man qualified himself as a human being, pleasing God in every respect, He deserved to live! But at the prime of His life, He laid down his life for us sinners, He made his life our sin offering. The cross wasn’t a murder, it was the work of a Priest, an offering to God. Life for Life, He took our place in Divine judgment.
* That we might receive the adoption as Sons-The greatest Christmas gift of all, is that we might be cleansed of our sins, saved from wrath, and wonder of wonders, adopted into God’s very family!
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.(John 1:12-13)
Is it any wonder that we sing with hushed reverence…(?)
How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.