The Right Time, The Right Place, The Right Savior
by Rick Shrader
One of the most concise and powerful explanations of the Christmas history is found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians:
But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (Gal. 4:4).
The Chronology: The fullness of the time.
God knew what He was doing when He sent His Son into the world two thousand years ago! The middle east has always been the cross-roads of the world, but it was also the cross-roads of the time of the world. The Lord’s command to take the gospel into all the world is good for every generation, but none has done it so quickly and efficiently as that first Christian generation. There is no doubt that the human gifts of apostles and prophets helped in the preaching of the message, but the gospel also went around the world best in its purest verbal (and therefore human) form. The message is meant to be incarnated, not only by the Son of God Himself, but also by the messengers. Face-to-face, mouth-to-mouth, person-to-person is the way God first sent the message, and it is the best way for effective witness.
The Genealogy: Made of a woman.
Many of the ancient writers wished that God had said, “made of a virgin.” But He did! Not only in the prophets (Isa. 7:14) but also here. He did not say, “made of a man and a woman,” or simply, “made into a human,” but specifically “made of a woman,” that is, made of a woman only. What is that but virgin born? And what is that but sinless in nature?
Though Mary was “highly favored” and “blessed among women” (Lk. 1:28), she also was compelled to confess, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior” (Lk. 1:46-47). Christ was the Son of God and the Son of Man, fully God and fully man.
The Nomology: Made under the law.
Jesus was an Old Testament Saint! But only in time. He was Lord of heaven and of earth, and of the law also. Mankind was held captive under the law, in bondage under its elements until the time appointed by the Father. But Christ came into the time of law to fulfill its every demand and to condemn, not man, but the law itself. It had no right to judge the Perfect One but it did! Christ bore the penalty of all mankind in the only dolorous passion possible for our redemption, being put to death in the flesh, but justified in the Spirit. In this Christ judged the law for its mistake, nailing it to His cross and eradicating its ordinances that were against each of us. Therefore, we are no more servants but sons.
The Soteriology: To redeem them that were under the law.
The true message of Christmas is redemption! We could not be redeemed with silver or gold or with any works of our own hands, but only with the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world! When it comes to being justified before God, the law was powerless, not because it was less than holy, but because man was fallen and unable to keeps its demands. The law did its job, “For by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20).
Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). The only way out from under the curse of the law is the admission of our own helplessness and the acceptance of His worthiness: “That the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” (Gal. 3:22).
Guilty, vile and helpless we, spotless Lamb of God was He;
full atonement! can it be? Hallelujah, what a Savior!