As we move towards the New Year celebrations, it is a good time to reflect on what the birth of the Messiah means to us in our lives today.
This passage from Galatians places the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ firmly into context. It is not talking about our individual salvation stories, but about God’s eternal plan for the salvation of mankind.
Before Jesus came, the Jews lived under the Law, and Gentiles lived under the sway of pagan religions. Although the Jewish people were heirs, it was as though they were under age, so they couldn’t take advantage of their inheritance. Instead, they had a ‘guardian’ – the Law – to watch over them until they came of age.
The crucial moment comes when God sends his son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law themselves. Verse 28 of chapter 3 makes it clear that, because of Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles can now become sons of God, with full rights. And because we are sons, we can receive the Spirit of God.
If we didn’t know it already, this truth reminds us that the Christmas Story is more than just a story, more than a Nativity play for children. The birth of Christ is a turning point in history, and a bold move in God’s incredible plan to send someone like us, born of a woman, to pay the penalty on our behalf, bring us out of darkness and make us sons and heirs of God himself.
As our thoughts turn to the year ahead, let us make a decision to live this year as sons of God!