It is good to know that God is in control, a fact that Paul reminds us of when he says that Jesus was born when the fullness of time had come (Gal. 4:5). The Father knew the best time to send his Son, and his coming brought to a closure the period of the Mosaic law as far as his people were concerned. We should be glad that is the case – imagine trying to keep all the details mentioned in the ceremonial law!
So the time had come for God to send forth his Son. We may think that Paul means he sent his Son into the world. Yet I would say a better understanding of ‘sending’ is that he was sent to become a man without ceasing to be divine. The Son was sent on a mission, which was to become the Redeemer.
So the Son appeared at the right time and did so in a lowly manner by being born of a woman and born under the law. He did so in order to identify with us in our stages of life and to provide a perfect life for us to have us our justification in God’s sight.
We can see from a sacrifice that was offered shortly afterwards by Joseph and Mary – two doves – that Jesus was born into and grew up in a poor family (Luke 2:24). Yet he learned how to obey the law, which he did perfectly at all times, and how to apply it, which he did correctly at all times.
Nevertheless, he came into the world to go the cross, where he was to obtain freedom for those enslaved by the condemnation of the law. This occurred at Calvary, so we can summarise his mission by saying that the babe of Bethlehem became the curse on Calvary in order to set us free.
This all happened in the past, but the Father’s intentions continue. Because Jesus completed his mission, the ‘period of the Mosaic law’ has been replaced by ‘the period of adopting’ in which the Father adds many children to his family. That is what God is doing today, adding to his family throughout the world.
Moreover, the Father gives to each of them two presents. One is the Holy Spirit and he comes as the Helper, and the other is the status of being an heir, which means that they become wealthy in a spiritual sense.
Unlike the presents we received earlier this week, which will eventually deteriorate, the Father’s gifts keep on providing his children with amazing blessings. This is what they will have both in the time that they have in this life and in the time that they will have in the new heavens and new earth.
(reflections on this morning’s service).