For millennia the rich and powerful could use and abuse others without consequences—or so it seemed. Then something changed. During the past three years we have witnessed growing movements around the globe speaking out against discrimination or any type of abuse, especially gender-based abuse. #MeToo or #TimesUp started a revolution in boardrooms, human resource departments, and the public square. Previously untouchable and unchallenged leaders suddenly found themselves in deep waters. Just ask Harvey Weinstein after the recent guilty verdict.
Timing is important in many of the things we do. The Protestant Reformation did not just happen. The invention of the printing press and the Renaissance’s call ad fontes (“back to the sources”) both played a crucial role in setting the stage and creating the conditions needed for major religious, social, and even political disruptions. The time was right to rediscover sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”), sola gratia (“by grace alone”), and sola fide (“by faith alone”).
God’s timing has always been impeccable. Paul tells us that Jesus, the world’s Saviour, came right on time (Gal. 4:4). Daniel’s prophetic vision had anticipated His arrival at the beginning of the last week of the 70 weeks cut off from the larger prophetic period of 2,300 days (see Dan. 8:14; 9:24-27).
Similarly, Christ’s death in the “middle of the week” (Dan. 9:27, NKJV)1 surely brought an end to sacrifice and offerings. Type met the antitype when Jesus died on the cross as the Jewish world prepared for Passover.
Satan knows that his time is up. The abuser will not get away from justice.
His resurrection wasn’t hurried or delayed. The Saviour rose for the final leg of the salvation journey after resting in the grave on Sabbath. Time was up for the antagonist—even though we don’t see the outcome quite yet. We still experience death, abuse, suffering, health epidemics, and war all around us. For two millennia God’s children have yearned for the ultimate comeback. The “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), awaiting the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, has fueled the courage of uncounted generations.
Peter experienced something of this urgency in his own time when he wrote: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
God is waiting, eager to save even more. But as He waits, He is neither sleeping nor slumbering. Prophetic time has ended. God’s heavenly clock marks the countdown until that final day.
Time’s up for death and dying. Time’s up for abuse and pain. Time’s up for disease and suffering. Time’s up for war and destruction.
Satan knows that his time is up. The abuser will not get away from justice. He who specialized in destroying marriages and families will soon be called before the Judge of the universe. Resurrection morning reminds us that justice will prevail. Not in a limited way, barely visible among the mountains of injustice—but publicly, live-streamed before a universe counting down the minutes.
Time’s up—and that’s good news enough for me today.
Gerald A. Klingbeil is an associate editor of Adventist Review.