“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6). This is the time of year when we celebrate the Child being born. Yet it was when the Son was given that impacts our lives directly. Now we are nearing the time when He shall come again to gather His Body, His Bride, His Church to take us back to the Father’s House in the 3rd Heaven to be seated with Him as joint-heirs as the immortal government. In one simple sentence, God’s prophet summarized Christ’s first and second coming. May we not overlook its profound significance.
At the beginning of the latter Days, Christ started it all by laying aside the glory of Heaven to come in the likeness of mankind. “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:8-11).
Romans 3:26 reminds us that Jesus came at the appointed time to “demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” By paying the penalty for sin, we are justified in Jesus. Our sins are forgiven, for they are wiped out by His perfectness. When we are in Christ, Jesus takes our place in the court of law, and when the charges of sin are read, God the Judge sees our Lord’s righteousness and can justly rule that we are not guilty.
In the previous verse, Paul adds that God set forth Jesus as a propitiation by His blood, through faith. Propitiation is a fancy word that means to satisfy one’s wrath. In this case, God’s wrath against sin. Because He is totally just, God could not simply ignore sin and its consequences. Jesus had to justly pay the ransom for sin, which we call redemption. Our slate was wiped clean, so to speak.
But if we sinned once, couldn’t we sin again? Yes, so God sent His Son to stand in our place. Jesus willingly endured the horrific death by crucifixion even though He was perfectly innocent. This enabled God to justly place His wrath upon His Son. Justice was served and God could then forgive mankind of their sinful nature and all their sins—past, present, and future.
In accounting terms, this means we are reconciled to God. That is, all our debt is wiped away. Everything that is in Jesus’ account is put into our account. Because we are “in Him,” as He is, so are we now (1 John 4:17). God doesn’t just love us unconditionally. He loves us perfectly. And since love has been perfected among us, we can have boldness in the Day of Judgment.
At the end of this age, Christ shall come again to gather His Body and take us back to Father’s House in Heaven. It’s time to know what time it is. “That now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Rom. 13:11-14).
When we talk about the chronos times, we’re really talking about the chronological passing of time according to preset determinants. The Old Covenant prophets foretold that Christ would suffer. That part of the plan has been fulfilled. Now, with our sins blotted out, we can experience “times of refreshing” from the manifested presence of the Lord in our present situation. For now, Christ has ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf (Heb. 7:25). This is the hour of outpouring.
Bhrist is waiting for the two great Days of the Church Age to be fulfilled, and for His Body to be completed. He must remain in Heaven until the “times of restoration of all things” (Acts. 3:18-21). That is, the rest of the story and the end of the ages. He is, after all the beginning and the end!