“Omne trium perfectum” The literal translation is “all three perfect.” It’s saying “Everything that comes in threes is perfect.” I’ve seen things in sets of three that were far from perfect so this may be more of a principle than a hard and fast rule, but there still may be some truth to the concept, or at least the thought has transcended the years. Have you ever heard, “Third time’s a charm?”
The Bible has something to say about the number three as well. The number three represents divine wholeness, completeness, and perfection. It is not my intent to discuss the importance of three or any of the various numbers presented in the Bible, but rather to talk about how a particular set of three events, while many years apart, are critically tied together and do indeed embody divine wholeness, completeness, and perfection.
First of Three Events
At the time of this writing, we just celebrated Christmas. It’s the celebration of Jesus’ birth. This one event is critical to the Christian. Without Christ, there would be no salvation, no hope, and no purpose, (interestingly, another threesome). Without Christ, we would just be, what some say, a cosmic random occurrence; an accident. This one event makes us a people with a purpose, rather than that random occurrence.
Second of Three
The second of the threesome is the birth of Jesus Christ being foretold better than 700 years earlier by the Prophet Isaiah. Jesus being born was, therefore, no accident, or just some historical figure, but rather a planned event.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of armies will accomplish this.
Third of Three
The third of these three intertwined events builds on the first two and, most importantly, this is where the meaning of three representing completeness comes into play.
That third event has yet to come. But like the foretelling of Jesus’ birth, it is Jesus’ return that is foretold by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
Christmas may be over for this year. The prophecy of His birth has been fulfilled forever. We now can look to the next event celebrating our Lord’s return. So keep your decorations up, this threesome has yet to be completed. When it does, maybe what comes in threes is indeed perfect after all.
One – Interestingly, Christmas gift-giving is in recognition of the gift Jesus gave to us, which is eternal life in heaven after our death here on earth, for those who choose to believe.
Two – Like those gifts that are given out at Christmas, it’s not yours until you accept it. Similarly, we must choose to accept the gift of eternal life with Christ in heaven. Not choosing to accept means no eternal life.
Three – The greatest gift this, and any Christmas, is the gift of eternal spiritual life after death, but we must accept it. And to do that we must believe.
John 1:12 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
It’s the simplest thing and yet the hardest thing to do. What is your choice for your future eternity today?