"From Rags to Robes"
November 16, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
Though He [Christ Jesus] was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor. 2 Corinthians 8:9
All people come into this world empty handed, and that is also the way they will leave. Job writes, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart" (Job 1:21). Saint Paul echoes the same truth: "We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it" (1 Timothy 6:7). The rich man who had himself buried in his solid gold Cadillac, of course, left it behind.
How about the Son of God? Could He perhaps have come into this world with the symbols of incalculable wealth: gorgeous robes, diamond rings on His fingers, a solid gold crown on His head? Not if it was His purpose to take the place of all members of fallen mankind. But since He came as every sinner's substitute, He was born in deepest poverty. He came with nothing. His mother wrapped Him in scraps of cloth, in a "blanket" as one Bible version has it. In fact, in the Latin translation of Christ's nativity Mary has wrapped Him with "pannis," that is, in tatters, remnants, rags.
When Jesus departed in death, He again had nothing, for the Roman soldiers appropriated His clothes.
How does Jesus' poverty benefit us? Saint Paul tells the Corinthians, "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor" (2 Corinthians 8:9). Once for all our Lord enriched us with His poverty when, as our substitute, He exchanged the rags of our sinfulness with the robes of His perfect righteousness. Now we can stand faultless before God's throne. That robe, covering all our sins, is ours by faith in Jesus.
Without this robe, we are lost. But clothed in it, we are the best dressed people and welcome guests at the heavenly feast.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for my robe of faith in You as my Savior. When I am clothed in this robe, I am a welcomed guest at Your heavenly feast. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)