Friday, June 20, 2014
“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 KJV).
The fourth verse of William R. Newell’s classic 1895 hymn “At Calvary” highlights today’s Scripture.
“Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
God gave heaven’s best—Jesus Christ—to save earth’s worst—us, sinful mankind. God’s love for us drove Him to Calvary’s cross: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s grace, His unmerited favor toward us, enabled Him to endure Calvary’s cross for us: “…Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).
We could not meet God’s righteousness in our own strength: we were spiritually poor. Jesus Christ had God’s spiritual wealth—righteousness, majesty, glory, and so on. Today’s Scripture says Jesus Christ “became poor” (“he humbled himself;” Philippians 2:5-8). He became a man, to serve instead of be served (Matthew 20:28), to have our sin imputed to Him (2 Corinthians 5:21), to die as “the just for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18). When He completely paid our sin debt, He resurrected to give us His righteousness (Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Titus 3:4-6 reminds us: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;….”
The Apostle John affirmed: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: … Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 3:16a, 4:10). Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary is now the bridge between God and us.