“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

Paul tells us that when the appointed time came, God arrived!

God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law. When Christ united Himself with us, what we are, He became. By doing that, He was qualified to be our Savior.

Jesus became human, taking on Himself fallen human nature. He came under the law and therefore was subject to the consequences of the law. Yet Jesus lived a perfect life with no sin. Still, He was condemned to death. He shouldered the condemnation of the fallen human race.

All the consequences we deserved, Jesus… took on Himself.

All the consequences we deserved, Jesus, the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:47), took on Himself. They should have come to the first Adam. They would have annihilated not only him but also all of us. We never would have been here had the first Adam received the consequences of sin. But it came to the second Adam. It annihilated Him, taking Him to the grave with such forsakenness in His thoughts and feelings that He could see no hope of resurrection (Psalm 88:8). Jesus exhausted our penalty as a human. He legally and justly satisfied the penalty of sin for the human race. Humanity has paid the price for sin in Adam, the second Adam.

This is no legal fiction. This is gospel truth. The second Adam took our sin and experienced the second death. We were in Him because Christ identified with our sin. He was punished not just for us, but as us. As us, He satisfied the wages of our sin. He was identified as the human race—the corporate human race. Therefore, His suffering was our suffering.

In a very real sense, we died in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14). He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is proven by the fact that Christ did not sin. If He had sinned, it would have been over, but because Christ did not sin, His death can only be connected to our sin. We have been rescued from our sin in Christ. Now we can live, not for sin, but for Jesus. That is the wonderful truth of the gospel. Amen.

James Rafferty

James has spent more than 30 years preaching the gospel around the world in revival seminars and evangelistic meetings. He and his wife Risë have two adult children, Jeiel and Kierra.