For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Cor 8:9 NIV).
Here is another marvelous definition of “grace.” It is the movement from riches to poverty; from heavenly splendor to human limitation. In that process, Jesus gives up “equality with God” to gain “the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Phil 2:7).
How can this be gain? It can be gain only because it is God in Christ who is bringing about this mysterious change.
This great identifying work of God is not only real but sufficient and I can therefore move as William Sleeper writes in his grand gospel song:
Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come to Thee.
Byron Carmony puts it this way:
His were the planets and stars in the sky;
His were the valleys and mountains so high;
His, all earth’s riches from pole unto pole;
But He became poor to ransom my soul.
Through the incarnate Jesus’ self-emptying sacrifice on the cross, I can receive the grace needed to be transformed. As I allow Jesus to remold me, I can allow him to absorb the “bondage, sorrow, and night” and replace it with His “freedom, gladness, and light.” This is indeed the work of Christ on the Cross!
(2 Cor 9:15 NIV) Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!