In The Fullness of Time (Advent Devotion) - Sunday, December 30

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son... to redeem those who were under the law that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4 ESV)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:3)

The Gospel of John makes it clear that Jesus participated with the Father and Holy Spirit in the creation of the universe, and in God's crowning glory, man. Through Him, man received the breath of life. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4) All life is held together by Him "for in Him we live and move and have our being," (Acts 17:28a)

And so, we first received grace or unmerited favor from God in creation. God in His perfect state did not need us. He was complete in himself. The triune God experienced the fullness of his deity. But in his perfect love, He chose to make us eternal beings to share life with Him. "For thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they were created." (Rev. 4:11 KJV)

When sin entered the world, the perfect harmony God had with man was broken. As a result, mankind fell from grace, Gods favor, and completeness in Him. But because of His great love for us, God had a plan to bring us back into relationship with Himself. And that plan was to send His Son, Jesus, to buy us back.

It is through this previous claim to us as our creator that Jesus had the right to exercise this Old Testament act of gaal,* or redemption. As children of Adam, we were all born into servitude to sin. Jesus, fully man, a blood relative, could exercise the right to reclaim his people. Jesus, without sin, the spotless lamb, was the perfect blood sacrifice to fulfill the law.

"For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily... And you who were dead in your trespasses... God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside by nailing it to the cross." (Col. 2:9,13-14)

We can, through faith in Christ, enjoy His completed work on the cross looking forward to an eternity with Him. "And from His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace" (John 1:16)

Not just grace, but grace upon grace! A double portion of underserved favor and love from God!

Father, thank you that in your perfect timing, in the fullness of time, you sent your son to be our redeemer. Help us to humbly remember the cost and revel in the love of your grace, for Jesus' sake, Amen.

Rosemary Sternbeck, Fairbanks, Alaska

*Kinsman Redeemer. Refer to Numbers 5:8 and Ruth 2:20, 3:9