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Concerning what the Bible says and what might be said in commentary from prominent church leaders is there a particular reason Jesus came 2000 years ago and not some other time. One would think earlier would be good.

If the question seems too general then just give me biblical support.

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One reason was it was a perfect time for the spread of the gospel. The Pax Romana and great road system allowed for information to be passed quickly. –  SSumner Mar 6 '13 at 5:45
...after all, Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication –  Peter Turner Mar 6 '13 at 15:01
Downvote? Weird. –  fredsbend May 15 '13 at 20:30
This is actually a duplicate of "Why didn't Jedus come at the time of the Flood" but I agree, it's not worthy of a Downvote. –  Affable Geek May 15 '13 at 23:29
@affableGeek I would call it a near duplicate because that question asks specifically why God chose to destroy the antediluvian people instead of save them with Christ. My question asks more generally why Jesus came when he did and not earlier or later. However, your answer there would fit well here. I am inclined to ask you to post it here because it answers my question better then the current answers. –  fredsbend May 16 '13 at 18:28

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

My answer on a related question covers much the same ground. I like this question better, because it is more generic, but the specifics of that answer still hold true here.

Key points:

  1. God desires 1 sacrifice, and 1 sacrifice only, for all time (Heb 10)
  2. God chose to come "at the right time to die for the ungodly" (Gal 4)
  3. Too early, and people wouldn't have believed it - hopelessly mythological.
  4. Too late, and faith would have to be, as Heb 11 puts it, looking forward to a city, rather than living in it.
  5. Andrew Lloyd Webber is cool :) N.B. Key words around 0:58
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Galatians 3 and 4 explains how God sought to lay a foundation for the coming of the Messiah, through the Jewish Law. The Law was to make people understand the depth of their sinfulness (in that they were incapable of keeping the Law) so that they might more readily accept the cure for that sin through Jesus the Messiah (Galatians 3:22-23; Romans 3:19-20).

So God was making His chosen people ready for the arrival of Messiah and we read in Galatians 4:4:

“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law”.

This verse declares that God the Father sent His Son when “the time had fully come.”

Finally, Christ came in fulfillment of specific prophecy. Daniel 9:24-27 speaks:

“Seventy weeks have been determined concerning your people and your holy city to put an end to rebellion, to bring sin to completion, to atone for iniquity, to bring in perpetual righteousness, to seal up the prophetic vision, and to anoint a most holy place. So know and understand: From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will again be built, with plaza and moat, but in distressful times. Now after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing. As for the city and the sanctuary, the people of the coming prince will destroy them. But his end will come speedily like a flood. Until the end of the war that has been decreed there will be destruction. He will confirm a covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of that week he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt. On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys, until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”

Whether anyone is able to decipher this timetable or not, but it is believed that this prophecy recorded by Daniel over five hundred years beforehand is for arrival of Christ.

Looking from men’s perspective, that particular point in history was a good time for Christ to come. There were many things occurring at the time of the first century. At least by human reasoning, the time seem to be ideal for Christ to come then.

  1. There was a great anticipation among the Jews of that time that the Messiah would come as the Roman rule over Israel had made the Jews hungry for the Messiah’s coming.

  2. Rome had unified much of the world under its government, giving a sense of unity to the various lands. The empire was relatively peaceful, travel was possible, allowing the early Christians to spread the gospel. Such freedom to travel would have been impossible in other eras.

  3. While Rome had conquered militarily, Greece had conquered culturally. A “common” form of the Greek language was the trade language and was spoken throughout the empire, making it possible to communicate the gospel to many different people groups through one common language.

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I +1 for the first part, but this answer really just pushes the question back a few levels: I might now ask "Why was the law not sent earlier?" Also, I might ask "Why did he not come later?" All the other points can easily have occurred differently. –  fredsbend May 16 '13 at 19:09

We do not know. We only know that He came at the appropriate time. Galatians 4:4-5:

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.

From this we know the well-known facts that at the time of His coming:

  • His mother, Mary, born of Saint Anne, gave birth to Him,
  • there was the law that He was born under, and also
  • His coming should have been recognized, as perhaps due to signs, note Luke 19:44:

44 They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.

None of this requires that He would come at that time. He could have chosen any other time for there to be the signs, and law, and Mary. But He did not, and the time He did choose was appropriate.

It is not useful to speculate further, especially on the "strategic" advantages of Christ coming when He did. God has in mind not only that time, but all the future consequences of coming at that time, and all things that came before that moment. He knows what roads the apostles would walk, and also that this question would be asked. He did not come then for the Roman roads: He came then for our salvation.

Keep in mind that God would not need to "look through history" to choose a time that would be best. He may have made all of history to fit the moment of His Sacrifice, rather than His coming and Sacrifice to fit history. But even this way of thinking is too limited. We simply do not know:

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord
or who has been his counselor?” Romans 11:33

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I like this: "He did not come then for the Roman roads: He came then for our salvation." Yes. Who cares when He came. Rejoice that He has come and will come again. –  fredsbend May 16 '13 at 19:12

Jesus came during the time of the Romana Pax, which is a time when Rome was at peace. If he came during there was a lot of war, when people beg him to help with defense, what would he say?, because if he kills one man, even if he is evil, he will not be perfect anymore and dieing wouldn't do anything. If he didn't defend, either he wouldn't have died on the cross (someone else would have killed him in battle) or he would have to use his powers to destroy people. During this time was perfect to come, beause it was when he was needed most and the one time during when he's needed most that he can come.

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Welcome to the site! This doesn't really have much to do with your answer, but I find that sharing the following tends to help new visitors avoid mistaking the purpose of this site. I do hope to see more from you! When you get a chance, please see How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Mar 12 '14 at 0:31

Why did He come when He did? Jesus came at the time when God said He would come. He was alive during the year that God said He would be. So, Jesus’ coming at the time was fulfillment of God’s promise.

This prophecy is given in Daniel 9:25-26, in which 69 weeks of years (483 years) of time span from “the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince.” The “command” is noted in Nehemiah 2, which is dated 445 B.C.

There is much written about this prophecy on the web (including other perspectives that disagree with this view). One example with further information on this perspective is found at http://www.khouse.org/articles/2004/552/.

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