In the ancient world of Rome sons were usually schooled and trained by a household slave. For the son this probably wasn’t an exciting time in his life as he would often have been treated little better than a slave and worked hard. However, all of this changed the day he ‘came of age’ and was able to enter into adult life claiming his inheritance. At that moment it was goodbye forever to anything that savored of being a slave!
For the slave, sadly, life was altogether different; he had been born a slave and, in all likelihood, he would die a slave. His hours were long, usually monotonous and could involve heavy work. The best that a slave could hope for was that his master would show him some kindness by not working him to death but this was very far from certain.
The Bible tells us that since mankind brought sin (sin is all that is against God’s good and holy law) into this world- all men are born slaves of sin and hence are nothing other than slaves of the Devil. It is this slavery which makes life so hard and miserable. Being the taskmaster that he is this Master is pleased to pay his wages; death, destruction, judgment and hell- wages that will be fully paid in due season.
The good news that the Bible tells us is that God did something radical to change this woeful situation-
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.
What this means is that Jesus choose to enter this world with the express purpose of undoing all that man, in his foolishness, had done by dealing with man’s massive sin problem. Christ did this by making himself an obedient servant of God’s law and fully keeping it.
Secondly, by his sin bearing death on the Cross Jesus took the punishment which our sins deserve so that for all who believe there will be no remaining punishment for them- not even a drop!
Thirdly, and most gloriously, Jesus adopted every believer into the family of God. What this means is that the moment a person repents of their sin and places all the hopes, for time and eternity, on Jesus alone, they IMMEDIATELY become a son of God with an awaiting heavenly inheritance which can never be lost.
Think of it like this; By his life of perfect obedience Jesus bought that Heavenly inheritance for us. By his sin bearing death on the Cross (remember he was bearing our sins) he was removing every obstacle which stood in the way of us receiving that inheritance. By his resurrection Jesus was proclaiming that just as surely as he rose from the dead manifesting that he is the Son of God- just as certainly every one of his people are sons of God.
So what do you want to be- a slave living and dying in misery or a Son entering into a glorious inheritance?