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What Becoming Rich in Christ Means

Sharilee obtained a degree in secondary English education from the University of Calgary. She has taught in Canada for 10 years.

Christ Died for Us

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”- 1 Peter 3:18

Christ died for us... We hear these words repeatedly in our Christian lives, and sometimes we can become numb to their significance, and we find it hard to comprehend the vastness of this truth. Christ dying for our sins sounds so metaphysical and profound that sometimes it seems almost impossible to really understand, even if we mouth the words, sing the songs, and speak the lingo.

Christ died for us... Christ suffered for our sins...

What does it mean?

Well, we know historically that he died, and did so in what was considered the most shameful way to die: on a cross. The cross was for criminals: the equal of today's electric chair. Imagine, if you will, watching a man from Texas (which has the highest number of executions in the USA) on the news. He is about to be executed by the electric chair, and as he is about to die, he says, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

What would you think? I know that I would think: how dare he imply that those executing him are guilty when he is the criminal! And then, if I heard that the man claimed to be God, wouldn't we think he was a delusional mental patient who had committed such terrible crimes that he had to be executed? That is how Christ's death looks to the world: a crazy, dangerous man put down for the safety of the State. This is what he went through: not just the physical pain, which was inordinate. But he went through the ultimate shame: being condemned to death when he did nothing but good.

This is unthinkable, but this is what he claims to have done for us. The crazy man calls out to us, "will you believe in me?" And some of us do and are saved, and some of us continue to believe the sensible thing: that's it too crazy to be true. How can this man bring us to God when his position is so low? Surely, a man of greater status and honour would be better to bring us to a holy God?

"Orphans" by Thomas Benjamin Kennington, painted in 1885.

"Orphans" by Thomas Benjamin Kennington, painted in 1885.


“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”- 1 Peter 3:18

Years ago, I used to love to watch the T.V. show, Party of Five. The basic plot line was about a family of five kids whose parents had died in a car crash, and they were surviving on their own. To me, this was a fascinating premise: the thought of kids making it on their own, with no parents, but just each other. The great thing about this show was they did what thousands cannot really do in real life. That's what made it so inspiring, because most families that are orphaned don't survive on their own, and the children are shipped out to foster care, or live in destitution, if no one intervenes.

Imagine, if you will, a house with five children, like the T.V. show. But instead of them being taken care of by a capable, of age older brother, they are all under ten. And instead of being left insurance money, they have only a broken down old trailer, with mold growing in the bathroom and two of the bedrooms. And they stink, because there water has been cut off, and they don't have any money to pay the county to re-connect it. You might say that this family and their situation is "not right," and it is not what it should be. They need someone to come along, and help, and make these right, and make things as they should be.

Imagine now that a very wealthy man came along and decided to help this family, just out of the goodness of his heart. He took that disgusting old trailer, tore it down, and built a sturdy, spacious house in its place, with a room for every child. And then imagine that he hired a nanny to take care of them, and give them structure, and make sure they take baths, and offered to pay for everything for them, so that they could just live their lives, and be kids? Wouldn't you say that this man made their lives "right", or "as it should be?" That is what it means when the verse above says, "just for the unjust." It means that, the LORD Jesus Christ, God almighty, came to us in our broken down old trailers and messed up lives, and made them right. How did he do it? By us becoming "good enough" to deserve it? No, we could never deserve it but he generously opened up his wallet and his expertise, and made our situations and our lives, "right," or "just." This is how we become "rich in Christ."

Thank you to Sigma for the use of this photo.

Thank you to Sigma for the use of this photo.

An Impossible Bargain

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”- 1 Peter 3:18

The man in the figurative electric chair is the same man who comes and rescues the poor souls living in squalor. You see, he was the always the rich man; he always had the resources. But he chose to give all of that up for a while, and slum with humans. While he was slumming, he was looked down upon, and beaten up, and even given the label of criminal. He gave up all of his status, all of his honour, and became a nothing, a cipher.

He did that, and his rich Father, who owns everything, and gives his son everything, was the one who told him. He told Jesus, the son, to come and become a criminal and die the most shameful death there ever was. "If you do this thing," he told his son, "if you are willing to go through this absolute torture, by your enemies, then I will not punish any more criminals. All they have to do is ask for an appeal, and say that their crime has already been punished when you died. I will do this, because you will have died without deserving it. So, they will not die, even though they deserve it. That way, no one can say that I am not fair.

And the son said, "Yes, I will do it." So the son of God, the one who owns everything died, for our crimes, and all we have to do is go and claim our pardon, straight from the head of the state. When we say, "his punishment, that was for me, he gives us the pardon, and we walk free.

And like the wild children left without parents, we are picked up the rich man, and given a new life, and we are made right, and we are brought to God.

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.2 Corinthians 8:9

© 2010 Sharilee Swaity


Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 22, 2011:

Wba, I completely agree. The fact that he in all his richness took time for us because he loved us is amazing and very touching. Blessing to you as well. from upstate, NY on September 21, 2011:

prairieprincess- The sacrifice that Christ made can seem impersonal because we might think, he's God, that's why he was able to deal with it. To me, its even more meaningful that God not only sacrificed for us, but chooses to to make a way for us to be intimate with Him in the closest possible way. He chooses to dwell in our very being, and wants us to walk in constant communion with Him.- Regards and blessings-WBA

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on July 23, 2011:

Sofs, it is such a deep, unfathomable truth. thank you so much for your comment. Blessings!

Sophie on July 22, 2011:

You are so right princess, many Christians have a very superficial understanding the work of the cross.. We shall never know the immensity of all that the Father and the Son have done for us and the continuing work of that the Holy spirit among us. Great hub. God bless!!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 10, 2011:

KH, Amen! You are so right -- we really can never truly understand what he has given us. We will spend eternity thanking him, and learning his depths. Blessings!

Knightheart from MIssouri, USA on May 07, 2011:

Amen! No person can fully comprehend the love of our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus came to this earth exclusively to die on the Cross to pay our sin debt. A free gift of eternal life if we confess our sinful natures, accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Nothing on this earth can compare the the reward we will have when we die and go to Heaven for eternity to be with our Lord and other believers. Thank the Father for His patience, grace, and mercy!

Jesus lives!!!!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on January 11, 2011:

Thank you, Mr. Matthews. The LORD's words are so very sweet. Take care.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on January 11, 2011:

This is extremely well written and illustrates many lessons of Our Lord Jesus Christ especially lessons taught on the Mount

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on December 18, 2010:

rpalulis, thank you so much for coming by, reading and commenting. I understand about the attacks and lures. Like I have said, I have read some of the debates in the forums under the Religion section. There does seem to be so much anger the simple words of Scripture and Christ. I think it can be explained as a Spiritual battle, and yes, it is intensifying in these last days.

Amen, and all we can do is just keep drawing close to Him. Every day, that is the only hope for the spiritual battles that we encounter. Take care, and May God Bless you!!! Keep Going for Him!

rpalulis from NY on December 17, 2010:

Very well written, I love the analogies you use. After reading some of the above comments about being attacked and lured into debates from non-believers, increases my faith even more. What is it in man that stirs up so much anger. Man's hostile reactions to the peace and simplicities of Christ are just mind boggling to me. Scripure say's they will hate you for My names sake, calling good evil and evil good. It's all signs of the times. I often think that when I am being attacked my non-believers that I must be doing something right.

God bless you and thank you so much for this refreshing hub!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 23, 2010:

Yes, I understand ... I don't think those kind of debates are very productive, at least for myself. I am so glad that the LORD gave you his direction, and that you obeyed. Thank you and bless you, too.

AtJacobsLadder from England on November 23, 2010:

Tahnks, funnily enough after being quite shaken by the hostility, I did what I usually do in those circumstances,I went to Him in silence to show me hoe He sees. I got the feeling that He wanted me to stay out of it, that it was not even His plan for me to go and argue with those people, I made a mistake thinking I should interact in the forum, He showed that all He asked of me was to pass on His words and nothing else. It makes me laugh whenever I stray from His purpose for me I get lashback. thanks and may God shine brightly in you.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 22, 2010:

AtJacobsLadder, thank you so much for the comment and the praise to our LORD. Your worshipful spirit points me towards Him.

As for the rude comments, I have seen that in the forums. I have not really got into those conversations, because it seems they are dominated by non-belief and yes, hostility to the Word of God. So far, I've escaped any of that criticism but haven't taken part in those discussions on the forum.

sorry you had to go through; it's quite discouraging. Take care and God bless you. Keep writing for Him; your hubs are a great blessing and will touch many.

AtJacobsLadder from England on November 22, 2010:

This is the first Hub I read of yours, I would like to thank you for your meaningful words, I for myself can never ever forget that He sent His Beloved Son for us, Oh I how I am grateful for His sacrifice, I love Him and remember with great happiness in my heart mixed with terrible suffering, they go hand in hand. Thank you Prairieprincess.

Another point, if you could advise me.

As you know I am new at Hubpages, I was posting a few comments on a topic, and I was really shicked at the reactions of most atheists, they have attacked me, trying to humiliate me, what is going on? Is this normal round here. I have many non Christian family members and friends and I have never experienced such anger, such hatred.(by the way apology for any spelling mistakes, i am french, trying to write in english) Love

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 18, 2010:

It is SO easy to forget, isn't it, Kashmir? Thank you so much, and bless you!

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on November 17, 2010:

Sometimes we forget or take for granted all Jesus has done for us,we need to thank Him daily for His blessings in our life.

Great hub.....thumbs up!!!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 15, 2010:

Thank you so much, Dolores, and that's a great connection ... he was despised, so that he can identify with every suffering possible. Bless you, sister!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on November 15, 2010:

prairie - this was a beautiful hub and reminds me of what Jesus meant when He said that whatever you do for anyone, you are doing it for Christ.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 14, 2010:

Amen, Quill... it is so hard to understand. thanks and bless you, too.

"Quill" on November 14, 2010:

All is has given to us is impossible to comprehend in our minds... we are all His children and knowing and understanding is the greatest of blessings. No matter where we find ourselves we find Christ.

Blessings and Hugs