When you look at the timeline of humanity pictured above, we are somewhere in the middle of that line between Pentecost and Israel Reborn (although some would point to 1947 as that point in time). But when we consider all that happened in history and all that is yet to happen before the end of Revelation… why did Jesus appear on the scene when He did? Would it have been better to come sooner and save the Israelites from just a destructive history? Should He have come later when we had better forms of communication to spread His word worldwide? What made this particular point in time the right time?
Well, the truth is we know it was right because God chose that time. But let’s dig a little deeper than that. While an entire book could be written on this topic, I will attempt to cover it with some simple short facts.
Not too late
Jesus was not too late because the trials and tribulations and words from the prophets were required as a build up to His coming. Generations would attempt to live under the Law of Moses, and yet fail. Nations would try to conquer the Israelites complete, and yet fail.
The stories we read in the Old Testament were all necessary build up to the coming of the Messiah. Without the trials of the historical texts, we would not have reason for the prophets to speak prophecies of the coming Messiah, they would not have felt the need for a “savior”. Without the glorious triumphs, we would not be able to see God’s hand at work.
In fact, even when Jesus first arrived, He was still saying “My time has not yet come”
(John 7:6). This was a phrase me mentioned in several situations early in His ministry.
Not too early
We can easily look at our technology today, the speed at which word and spread throughout the world… and wonder what would it have been like if Jesus arrived now instead of 2000 years ago. Ironically, there was something unique about that time that made it the perfect solution.
The learned Jews
At the time Jesus arrived on the scene, Jews became educated about the scriptures via intense training and full memorization. The Scribes and Pharisees that Jesus regularly encountered, had actually been required to memorize all of the Jewish texts. They knew the Law, the knew the Books of Wisdom, the Historical Documentaries, and all the Prophets. Now they didn’t have chapter and verse like we do today (that was a later addition) but they could recite all that Isaiah had said (as an example).
This kind of depth of knowledge has diminished over the years so if an apparently uneducated man was going to make His knowledge known, what a time to do it. “The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?”” (John 7:15) This word ‘marveled’ was something bordering on respect. They were literally puzzled at His having such wisdom without having gone through the traditional methods of teaching.
As a result, Jesus showed Himself at the perfect time. To those who chose to follow Him, they had reached a point to know that Israel needed a Messiah. To those who persecuted Him, they had no way to rationalize His knowledge and miracles away. Despite their complete knowledge of the prophecies, their hearts were hardened so the prophecies could be fulfilled.
This year, celebrate His resurrection knowing that there was no other time in history that was right for Jesus to live, die and rise again. After all, history is His Story.
I pray that you appreciate my blogs. They are my way of journaling as I read His word. If you do like them, please be sure to click the Follow Hisfamily Ministries button in the top right corner AND to spread the word. Share these posts with others and perhaps they will be blessed too.