How time marches on! It does not seem as though 17 years can really have passed by since the turn of the millennium. Many will remember the sense of a very special moment in time, even if the whole reason for the marking of time in this way was rather shamefully neglected. We do however continue to reckon time and history by the traditional date for the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Without going into details, it is now widely held among scholars that the actual date of His birth was in the year we now know as 4 BC.
This brief article is written to serve as a reminder that, 17 years on, we are now past the half-way mark tracing through the years of the Lord’s earthly life. The Bible itself, as far as the marking of dates is concerned, sets much more store around the timing and date of the Lord’s death rather than His birth. Again, scholars vary on the year and the details, but one reliable authority reckons April 2032 will see the passing of the 2,000 years since the death and resurrection of Christ. Before that will will trace through the three or four years of His public ministry which accounts for much of the content of the Gospels.
It is a privilege to be alive at this time in history. The world is full of trouble and confusion, but the message of Christ continues to bring real hope and positive transformation of lives to many. It is our hope and prayer that many will take the opportunity to consider the lasting impact of the unique birth, life, death and resurrection of the Son of God. Millions can testify that they owe everything to Him and have a living relationship with the one true God of the universe through Him, whose name Immanuel means “God with us”.
The Bible is a prophetic book, and there are wonderfully detailed and precise timings in Daniel that were fulfilled perfectly in the first coming of the Lord Jesus. The Bible is clear that the coming of Christ for His Church will be at an unknown and unrevealed time. Date setting is contrary to the Bible, and therefore unprofitable and dangerous. However, after that great event has occurred, many more prophecies will start being fulfilled which do have a timetable given in Scripture. Every day that passes brings the time nearer, making the Bible a book that gets more relevant for the whole world day by day. It is right indeed to regard it as the living Word of the living God concerning the Saviour who was dead but is alive for ever more.
God’s timetable – even in the elements that have been revealed to us in history and prophecy is complex and detailed. He does not necessarily work in “base 10” (although the promised millennium is an example of where He does). Seven is of course an important number, also 40 years or days are often of significance. So the marking of exactly 2,000 years since the life and death of Christ may or may not be prophetically significant, but I again hope and pray that everyone will pay attention to the message of the Bible and especially the message of hope and love that still rings clear and true of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
One day it will be too late for people to trust Him and become members of His precious Church. Meanwhile, today is the time, today is the day of salvation. If you are a believer, be encouraged in the goodness and faithfulness of God who will bring all His revealed purposes to pass. If not yet a believer, please consider Christ afresh and turn to Him in full confidence that He alone is able and willing to save to the uttermost all who call upon Him in true faith. Simply accept you need a Saviour from sin, and He is the one perfect Saviour you need who promises the amazing free gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. Then you can have a spiritual birthday within the period marking 2,000 years since His own uniquely wonderful and perfect life!