We all have difficulty relinquishing things that we cherish. I still remember my first ten-speed bicycle. It was a fully equipped, Schwinn beauty that I received as a Christmas present. Not long after I received it, I allowed a friend to borrow it for a quick ride. She proceeded to get hit by a car destroying my bike. Thankfully, she was not seriously hurt, but my precious, beautiful bike wasn’t so fortunate. I wish I could say that I was more concerned for her than my bike in that moment, but…
A bike is a small thing to relinquish. How difficult it is for us to give over to the Lord our dreams, our longings, our careers, our kids, and other precious things. Have you ever thought about what Jesus Christ relinquished to become the God-man and our Savior?
From eternity past, Jesus Christ was the eternally rich God. He not only was but is materially rich. He owns everything because He made everything, and He is the end for which everything exists. Colossians 1:16 tells us: “All things were created through him and for him.” Abraham Kuyper states powerfully the implication: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” This means that every resource you have: your kids, your home, your car, your church, your 401K, your bank account does not belong to you but to the Lord.
Jesus is not only materially rich, but spiritually rich. He enjoys infinite glory in the immediate presence of God. He fully shares and enjoys God’s glory and the splendor of heaven. He set aside the immediate presence of God to be born to a poor, teenager mother in a cave and to die a criminal’s death, in order that we might become rich in the very things that He gave up.
Remember how Jesus prayed during His passion: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:5). Before He entered that glory, He suffered the indignity, cruelty, and brutality of the cross. O the magnitude of the generosity and grace of Jesus!
Jesus enjoys perfect love in the immediate presence of God. What makes Jesus rich is that His father uniquely loves His only begotten son. Because you loved Me before the foundation of the world… I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:24,26) But Jesus cried out on Golgotha’s cross: “My God, my God why have you forsaken Me?” Why have you turned your smiling face away? O the magnitude of the generosity and grace of Jesus!
Jesus enjoys ultimate joy and bliss in the immediate presence of God. He has existed as the glorious, perfect and happy second person of the Trinity from all eternity. Why? Psalm 16:11 tells us, “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” God the Father says:“This is my beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased.” But Jesus says in the Garden, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:38). O the magnitude of the generosity and grace of Jesus!
What did Jesus do with all of these riches? He relinquished them – “though He was rich, He become poor” (8:9b). From this infinite height, Jesus performed the unimaginable condescension.
Though he was rich, he became poor so that we might have the riches of which he let go. So we can one day experience the immediate presence of God in heaven ourselves and live coram deo (before the face of God) forever.
Those who repent and trust in Christ will become unimaginably rich in eternity. The Bible says that we will inherit the earth” over which Jesus has all authority (Matthew 5:5). We will live in the immediate presence of God and He will dwell with us and we will be his people (Revelation 22:3). We will experience and share His love and joy in His presence forever and ever.
The next time you are called of God to relinquish to Him something you cherish, remember all that Jesus relinquished to rescue you and make you eternally rich in Him.
Also, remember Katharina von Schlegel’s testimony in her beloved hymn “Be Still My Soul:”
“Be still, my soul:
thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness
all He takes away.”
Thank you, Father, that your Son, the Lord of glory,
was crucified in weakness for our sake!
He, the Lord of all, became the Lord of nothing
so that we might become immeasurable rich
enjoying a face-to-face relationship with You for all eternity.
O the magnitude of the generosity and grace of our Lord Jesus.
We make our prayer in His name, AMEN.