“But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’.” (Galatians 4:4-6 NIV)
I have no context for adoption, other than friends of mine who were adopted as children. One such friend was a young lady I went to high school with. The way I heard of her story for the first time was one night when we were working together at the local burger joint, she told me her eye was bothering her. I casually suggested that she go and rinse it out with fresh water. What happened next was quite unexpected and quite shocking for a 17-year-old boy. She went into the kitchen, removed her eye and rinsed it off and put it back in; her glass eye. From what I learned in my shocked state was that she had been abused and beaten as a child by her biological father. She was adopted by her now parents and raised in a very loving and caring home, none of us who had known her for years had any idea she was adopted.
Just like this young lady I knew, Paul is speaking about a split in time. When our lives were inexplicably altered by our adoption. But no ordinary adoption. Unlike my friend who was adopted into an ordinary family, we are adopted into a royal family. The royal of all royal families, we are adopted into God’s family.
Interestingly this profound split in time which happened at just the right time, the time that had fully come, we also see the Trinity at work. God sent His Son, fully God; born of a woman, fully human to redeem and adopt us. God the Father also sends His Son’s Spirit transforming us. The Father sent, the Son redeems, and the Spirit transforms. Three in one.
In just the right time, the fullness of time, Christ came and died for us. Time has never been the same. Hope split the world into the before, without hope, and the now, with hope, with the ability to cry out Abba Father and run to his outstretched arms longing for His prodigal children to come home.
Maybe I do have a context of adoption after all, do you?