but when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law. [galatians 4:4]
in this simple verse there are three profound truths.
Jesus was the plan from the beginning
God in his sovereignty had planned to send his Son to die for us from the beginning. he knew when he created us that we would sin and continually fall short; he knew that in his justice payment would need to be made for every sin; he knew his son was the only one who would be able to make the payment: God counted the cost, yet created us nonetheless.
Jesus was fully man, yet fully God
fully God’s son, Jesus came and fully took on flesh. he was tempted in every way we are, suffered as we did, and even suffered separation from the Father on the cross. Jesus went first as a servant down to us, in the middle of our pride and sin, to live and die for our sake. this is important for so many reasons, but one critical one is that Jesus never asks us to do something he didn’t do first. when scripture commands we do what seems impossible, Jesus calls it possible. faith—it does not make things easy, it makes them possible. we are called to be younger siblings to our perfect older brother. the perfectly obedient one is the one who calls us to obey; the biggest servant is the one asking us to serve others; the only innocent sufferer is the one asking us to join him in his suffering; the humblest man in the world is the one asking us to lay down our pride.
Jesus lived perfectly under the law, so that we might be free from it
the law, God’s holy standard, is impossible for us to follow. our perfect older brother followed it perfectly on our behalf, and took our punishment, so that we can live in the freedom of being sons and daughters of the King. what a reality! it sounds too good to be true, yet it is.
your steadfast love, o Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgements are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, o Lord.
how precious is your steadfast love, o God!
the children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
they feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
for with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
~ stephen hall