He Became Poor

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9)

The doctrine of Christ's kenosis, or self-emptying, is one of the most amazing of all biblical truths. The extent to which He who was not only "in the form of God" but also "equal with God" condescended to "make himself of no reputation" (the translation of kenoo in Philippians 2:6-7), is utterly beyond human comprehension.

He who once sat on the throne of the universe came to Earth "lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12). Throughout His public ministry, He had "not where to lay his head" (Matthew 8:20). Because He had no money to pay the tax, He had to catch a fish with the necessary coin in its mouth (Matthew 17:27). In His agony at Gethsemane, none of His friends would pray with Him, and when He was arrested they all "forsook him and fled" (Matthew 26:40, 56). No one defended Him at His trial.

On the cross, the soldiers stripped away His only personal possessions—the clothes on His back—and then "parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take" (Mark 15:24). When He died, His body had to be buried in a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:59-60). No home, no money, no possessions, no defenders, not even a tomb of His own in which to lie.

But He had a cross on which to die, and because He was obedient to the death of the cross, "God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name" (Philippians 2:9). Through His poverty we become rich, through His homelessness we have a mansion in heaven, and through His terrible death on Calvary we have everlasting life. Yes, we do know the grace of Christ! HMM


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