Summary: Why was the time of the Roman Empire "just the right time" or "the fullness of time" for Jesus to come into the world for our salvation?
Advent 2019 – At Just The Right Time
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy –
“To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people - this has now been witnessed to at the proper time.”
Please open your Bibles to Daniel 2:31-45
In 2001 a pro golfer named Andrew Magee was teeing off on a par four hole. There was still a golfer on the green who had just completed his final putt. Andrew Magee teed off and the ball ended up rolling onto the green. The ball hit the putter of the other golfer who was walking along not paying attention to what was happening. His putter redirected the ball into the hole for a hole in one. It took them hours to figure out if it was a true hole in one or not!
Just try to imagine how many factors had to be in place for that to happen.
Just trying to list all of the variables in the timing and physics would be incredible, but, it did happen.
Imagine trying to make that happen on purpose; impossible!
What did it take to put everything in place so that the Son of God would arrive at just the precise moment in history so that the plan of salvation would be successful and the kingdom of God brought to life?
Romans 5:6 NLT tells us that,
“(While) we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”
And, in order for Him to die for us sinners He had to first be born so that He COULD die for us sinners, right???
We know that six hundred years prior to the birth of Jesus a pagan king named Nebuchadnezzar had a bad dream.
(Tell in your own words the happenings of the first 28 verses of Daniel 2.)
So, let’s see what the interpretation of the dream is and what it has to do with Advent, the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God into the world for our salvation …
Daniel 2:31-45 (prayer asking the Lord for help)
Here on the screen you see an artist’s concept of what the statue might have looked like.
We know that the head represents Babylonian empire and most theologians believe the torso is the Medo-Persian empire. The mid section represents the Greek empire and the legs of iron represent the Roman empire. That is where Jesus was born, lived, died and was resurrected back to life.
We know from Jeremiah 18 that the Yahweh, the God of Israel builds up and plants nations according to His purposes and He also tears down and destroys nations according to His purposes.
We see this happening throughout history and we see it specifically being planned out and executed in this prophecy.
So, when the Bible says, “at just the right time” or “in the fullness of time” it is talking about the Roman Empire which was in power 600 years after Nebuchadnezzar’s dream!
What was it that made the time of the Roman Empire “just right” for Yahweh the Father to send Yahweh the Son for our salvation?
1) The Empire was awash in spiritual hopelessness.
Not only was Israel filled with hopelessness but the entire Roman world was filled with spiritual hopelessness because of their gods. The Roman pantheon was filled with gods who were absolutely insensitive toward the human race. Their gods could not transform your life of offer forgiveness or the assurance of everlasting life. There was no promise of heaven for the faithful and certainly no resurrection. There was no spiritual hope for the slave or the centurion, the rich or the poor. In spite of the great power of the Roman Empire, this life was all there would ever be.
Imagine how hungry they would be for a God who not only loved and cared for them but was willing to give His own Son so that they could have eternal life.
What else was in place that would make it just the right time for the Incarnation?
1) The fertile ground of spiritual hopelessness
2) There was a unifying language; Greek.
When we look at all of the civilizations leading up to the Greek Empire there was no unifying language. Even the preceding Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires did not have a unifying language. Although Latin was the official Roman language used in the government, Koine Greek became a “shared language” throughout the Roman empire and even beyond its borders.