I sat down on Saturday evening (3/19/05) to watch the West Virginia Mountaineers battle the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The winning team would advance to the third round – the Sweet 16 – of the NCAA basketball tournament. The game was set to tip-off at 8:24 PM. As a bonus, I’d get to watch a few minutes of a cat fight between Kentucky and Cincinnati before the network switched coverage to the game I was anticipating.
Kentucky –the favorite - bolted out of the gate like a thoroughbred at Churchill Downs and ran to an 11- 0 lead. It was exciting, but when my digital clock read 8:27, and the score for the WVU/Wake contest was displayed across the top of my television screen, I realized I wouldn’t be viewing my game. Talk about March Madness! I dispensed a few words of disgust for the yahoos at CBS and slumped back into my chair. Although the NCAA tourney was a dispensation televised each year, the powers at CBS dispensed my electrons elsewhere and ruined my evening. However, with WVU down 13 at the half and a Cincinnati run that put them ahead at the break, the broadcast decision was a dispensation in disguise.
To watch the second half, I moved upstairs to our bedroom. As the game went back and forth, I began to fade. As I drifted in and out, I was startled to see my game appear in the haze. As I stirred, a phone call from my son apprised me of the comeback. The game ended in a tie, as did the first overtime period. The outcome was still a mystery, but after another tension-filled five minutes, the buzzer ended the second OT session. Time had run out, once again, but the score, 111-105 in favor of the blue & gold, marked the end of the game.
Similar to my basketball game, God’s divine plan has a certain fixed order, but it’s a mystery revealed only by grace. In the past, Israel was God’s focus, and He showed His power and purpose through them – or others. Later, at just the right moment – the fulness of times – Christ came into the world to live among us. He built the church to proclaim His truth to the world, but it’s a dispensation that seems to be winding down as one studies world events.
As Christians, we might not know what’s going to happen tomorrow or next week, but we do know the ultimate plan of God will be fulfilled at some point – a time of His own choosing. In the past, Christ fulfilled God’s plan to purchase us with His blood. From the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished!” He died and was buried. After His resurrection, He rose to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He intercedes for us – His saints.
Some day, Jesus will come again to fulfill God’s promise. However, this time He will come in judgment. Jesus will restore the kingdom to Israel and rule in Jerusalem for a thousand years. He will restore the harmony of His original creation – gather together all things – and put the final touches on the mystery, which has always been in Christ.
Mountain Time Moment
that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one
all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him