But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman
Christ becoming man signals the climax of history. From the proto-Gospel of the Garden, promising that “the seed of the woman would crush the serpents head” (Gen 3:15), to the birth of Christ in Bethlehem as its eventual fulfilment, God declares that his purposes for time and history are consummated in his Son. Therefore, to suggest – as some do – that the Christian faith is not grounded in historical events is a nonsense. As Paul poignantly poses, if Christ is not raised from the dead our faith is futile, in fact, we may as well “eat and drink for tomorrow we die” (1 Cor 15). To the apostle, to suggest that the resurrection or the virgin birth are so-called “faith events” and not historical is an absurdity. Christianity is pre-eminently historical—it is rooted in real people to whom God has revealed himself, and factual events in which God has acted. The birth of Christ, as an historical event, is God declaring that this time-space world has now been transfigured.
At the inauguration of his ministry Jesus declared through Isaiah:
The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light,
and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,
upon them a light dawned.
As the light of the world, Christ’s coming to earth has once-and-for-all pierced the stygian darkness of earth’s diabolic sway. Held captive to the fear of death and the demonic-realm, this pagan world has now been bathed in a glorious light. Born of a woman, God has become man. “The One who is high and lifted up, inhabiting eternity” (Isa 57:15) – the eternal “I AM” – has invaded history. By being fully human, and yet, fully God Jesus is filling this time-space world with himself as head of a new humanity. The old creation has passed away and the new has come. In this climax of history – through the God-Man Jesus – sin, death, and the devil have been definitively defeated. History’s purpose, to draw all things together in the Son, is now being fulfilled. And the whole of creation – in fact, a new creation – can now sing a new song, worshipping the Lamb upon the throne, because in him – as the God-Man – redeemed humanity has been restored to the throne of the universe:
Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.
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