April 4, 2013

Amazing grace

Childbirth trauma can include many things, but just coming from a protected place is a huge change for a baby. The womb is warm with the white noise of mother’s breathing and heartbeat. This world is not the same. Noise alone is a trauma.  It’s no wonder that a sleepless baby often relaxes in a car or when the vacuum cleaner is running, blocking out the other sounds with a soothing white noise.

While we don’t know exactly what heaven is like, we do know it is a place without sin and where fellowship with God is unbroken. No jarring traffic noise, car horns, yelling, or screaming. I cannot imagine coming from perfection to this world.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

Jesus took on human flesh and chose to live as a man. While He did not sin, He experienced everything we experience, including the trauma of childbirth and the pressures of a world filled noise and with selfish people who opt to do their own thing rather than trust and follow God.

Jesus had total power and left it to be an infant. He had the resources of the created universe and left it to have no place to lay His head. He could do all things and left that to live in dependence on the Holy Spirit, praying to His Father about every need, every desire. He lived in perfect fellowship in a perfect place yet left that to be despised and rejected. He possesses eternal life, yet came here to die as a man, crucified and for crimes He did not commit.

However, there are riches that He did not leave behind. He brought with Him love, mercy and grace toward a corrupt and corroded world. It was for our sakes that He became poor. As today’s devotional says, the cross on which He died has become the greatest symbol for it represents the love of God who was willing to become poor for our sakes, even to experience one of the most excruciating tortures ever known.

As I read about the reasons for this God-man and His death and wonder again how His tortured body bore the crushing weight of all sins ever been committed throughout history, my heart cannot bear the images or the imagination of it. This is the poverty of Christ yet the greatest act of love that the human race will see. He, with arms outstretched, is God’s answer to our need: the forgiveness of sins, the power to battle evil, even the ability to rise up over death. In abysmal poverty, Jesus Christ gives us amazing grace so that we might someday enjoy the riches that He left behind.

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