But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5 ESV)
Christmastime and the season of Advent is my favorite time of the year. The sense of wonder and anticipation fills the air through various smells, sounds, and sights. For the church, this season transcends the temporal and calls our attention to the eternal. It is a reminder to us that Christ has come and will come again at the fullness of time.
The Apostle Paul in Galatians chapter 4 explains the culmination of the promise found in Genesis 3:15. After sin, guilt, and shame entered the world through the sin of Adam, God foretold of a promised offspring from Eve who would crush the head of satan. The crushing of satan’s head would break the curse of our slavery to sin and death. In verse 4, Paul points out that Christ was not slow in His first coming, but rather came at the perfect time. In other words, God had set the stage perfectly for you and me. In the keeping of His promise in Genesis, God sent no mere man, but remarkably His only begotten Son. This God-Man who was under the law, kept and fulfilled the law by walking in perfect obedience to the Father. Then in verse 5, the Apostle describes the result of this kept promise. In Jesus, our redemption is achieved. We see here that through Jesus’ perfect obedience to the Father, an obedience that would ultimately lead to the cross, we are redeemed and adopted. At the core of Advent is the reminder that the light of men, Jesus, shone into the darkness, and the darkness failed to overcome it (see John 1:1-5).
The season of Advent is a chance for us to once again reorient our hearts and minds upon the beautiful truth that Jesus came as our atoning sacrifice so that we might forever live in the awe of our Heavenly Father. The joyous seasonal smells, sounds, and sights are only a shadow of the substantive truth that around 2,000 years ago on the hill of Calvary was the smell of death, the sound of forsaken cries, and the sight of our pierced Savior. May our hearts and minds rejoice that the same Savior who endured the cross so that we might receive adoption of the Most High King, will one day return again. In this promise, we who are his children cry out by the power of the Spirit that has been sent into our hearts, “Come Lord Jesus, come!”
Written by Pastor Rick Bartek