Lent Devotions 2009: Thursday 26th February

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so ye through His poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

In this passage we see the depth of God’s love for us. Since the fall of Adam and Eve all have sinned, incurred the wrath of God and deserve only condemnation, but “God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). God did not save us because we were lovable or righteous: “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8). Martin Luther recognized that “God wills to save us, not by a righteousness and wisdom from within, but from without. Not that which comes and is born from ourselves, but which comes from without into us. Not which rises from the earth, but that which comes down from heaven.”

God’s only son, Jesus Christ the Righteous One who had no sin, was made sin to save us. Jesus came to shed His blood and die for us on a cross, despised and hated between two criminals, that we may be saved from condemnation and obtain eternal life through faith in Him and His atoning sacrifice and resurrection. “Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh” (1 Ptr. 4:1)…and “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 Jn. 1:7).

And what are the riches that we can expect from Christ’s shedding of His blood for us to gain our salvation? The apostle John tells us “if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2); He has given us eternal life. Peter informs us that Christ’s poverty has given us “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven.” (1 Ptr. 1:4). We have been given a gift rich beyond description, the gracious gift of the salvation of our souls, made possible by the Son of God who became poor and despised to ransom us with His holy, innocent and precious blood unto everlasting life.

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 1 John 5:11.

Praise God for His wonderful gift to us of forgiveness and eternal life through His Son. Amen.