Good Friday and Communion

How poor was Jesus?

When Jesus stepped onto the earth that He created, His parents were a poor couple that had just a donkey to get to Bethlehem. He was laid in a borrowed manger. Later, He borrowed a boat in order to teach from the sea. One day He rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey. He was hung on a borrowed cross. He was buried in a borrowed tomb.

“… The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20).

Jesus did not own a house; He did not have anything. In fact, at the Cross, even His best friends deserted Him.

Despised and shamed, He hung on that cross with only a loincloth because they took His outer coat, for which they gambled. He died owning nothing. He had been rich. He had owned it all but He became poor, so that we who are poor may become rich.

The Prostitute Becomes Rich

She was a street woman and she did not have much money. In those days, there was no welfare system so if a woman was not married, she either begged or became a prostitute. Caught in the act of prostitution, the religious leaders grabbed her most likely by her hair, and dragged her down the street, adding to her humiliation.

They dumped her in the middle of the street and were about to stone her to death. She knew she would die in excruciating pain. She waited for the pain of that first stone.

Instead, she heard a strong and confident voice say, “Stop!”

The voice continued, “If you are going to stone this woman, then do it in an orderly manner. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Go ahead. The one without sin first.”

There was silence. Her body still trembled, waiting for that first stone to land. Instead, she heard thuds of rocks falling to the ground. She heard sandals on the rocky ground moving further and further away. Then she heard a gentle voice in the midst of the quiet that came upon the place — “Where are your accusers?”

For the first time, she looked up and she saw no one there but Jesus.

“They are not here.”

“Neither do I condemn you. Now go and sin no more.”

Do you think that woman became rich that day?

Communion

The Bible speaks about the grace of God. Although He was rich, yet for our sake, He became poor so that through His poverty, we might become rich. That is what the Cross is all about, but the Cross is not an end in itself. It is a means to life. That is why we gather together and take Communion to remember that He paid the price to give us the power to forgive and to stay free so that we can remain a people of heaven’s wealth. There are things that will destroy heaven’s wealth — bitterness, holding offense, anger, refusing to resolve sin. Jesus paid the price for all of heaven’s wealth and then He gives it to us as a free gift. Can you conceive how rich He was and how poor He became just so that we might have the wealth of heaven?

Communion also reminds us that the Cross represents, perhaps, the most painful human experience that ever existed. The nails piercing Jesus’ hands and feet were agonizingly painful. His dying body hung crucified on that cross. He must have felt so alone and abandoned. He hung there like a common thief, a worthless person. No one understood that His life was priceless; it was a sacrifice of such magnitude. He did not do anything to deserve this treatment, yet, He endured it! When we take Communion, we remember the Cross. That is what happened on Good Friday. However, Good Friday was not a dead end. The Cross led to life on Easter morning. We celebrate Easter and remember that despite all his wealth, Jesus came to earth, became poor and died to give us the wealth of heaven and eternal life. All we have to do is receive His priceless gift!

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