“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 Cor 8:9)
The Lord Jesus is rich. Rich is a reference to Christ’s preexistent status as the eternal Son of God in heaven. Jesus is the Creator of all, the Lord of all nations, First born of all Creation, the Preeminent One. He is the precious Son of God – fully God and fully man. He is the Name above all names, King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus Christ is the greatest, highest, Holiest, richest, Preeminent King.
The Lord Jesus Christ became poor. Poor is a reference to the humility of Christ’s incarnation, including His death. This is the truth of the Incarnation – God became man. Jesus took on flesh and skin. Christ took on our humanity. He was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. He faced the hardships of this cold world. He felt the painful effects of sin’s curse on the earth. He had no home. He had no place to lay His head. He humbled Himself as a servant.
Rich King Jesus became the poorest of the poor. He suffered and died the worst kind of death. He was beaten, bruised and ridiculed. He died a criminal’s death. A crown of thorns was placed upon His head. Nails were driven into His hands and feet. He was lifted high upon a cross. He suffered in anguish as the sins of the world were placed upon Him. He shed His blood as a ransom for many.
This truth is for you: Christ became poor so you could become rich. What does rich mean in this passage? The apostle Paul is not speaking of our earthly health, wealth and prosperity. He is not speaking of physical money, gold, stocks, bonds or IRAs. Paul is speaking of spiritual wealth: salvation and all the benefits that flow from Christ’s death and resurrection.
Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Those of us who trust in Christ become spiritually rich. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. We could spend hours recounting the many blessings in Christ: salvation, forgiveness of sin, removal of guilt, clean conscience, changed heart and life, substantial healing, protection from evil, wisdom in decisions, provision of our needs, comfort in times of trouble, hope that endures, no fear of death and the promise of eternal life in heaven. What a great exchange this is! The Lord Jesus became poor, so that you would become spiritually rich.
Christ shed His blood to pay the penalty for your sins and mine. He took our sin and shame, so that we could be forgiven. He was forsaken that we might be forgiven. He was condemned that we might be accepted. He died that we might live. Forgiveness is freely offered to all who repent and trust in Jesus. This hope is for you. Christ became poor so you could become rich.