According to ITV’s Robert Peston, austerity is back for millions of British people, and I do not doubt that some of our readers are worried sick about their futures. Are you among those choosing between eating or heating? Are you planning to get rid of your car because you can’t afford petrol? Are you in a constant state of panic because this is going to get worse before it gets better? My heart goes out to you, but what use is that?
Jesus will understand how you feel. He had a heart for the poor of his day and he experienced poverty himself. When he was engaged in his years of ministry, he had nothing. He once said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (1) If he spent a night in a home it was due to the kindness of others. If he ate it was because people either gave money to his disciples or they chose to feed him. He once fed over 5000 people at one time by performing a miracle, but he wouldn’t do the same for himself. He lived his life like the rest of us and took the bad with the good.
An old song says that Jesus only had two things he could claim as his own, two things men freely gave him. The first was a crown. Now that sounds good! A crown could be worth a lot of money, but not this one. This crown was made of thorns and was given to him by Roman soldiers. You can read about it in this awful passage; “Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.” (2)
The other thing that men gave to Jesus was a cross; “Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him.” (3) Jesus is the creator of the universe. What did he think when he created the first trees, knowing that one day a tree would be fashioned into a cross for his crucifixion? Two pieces of wood were fixed together and Jesus was nailed to them. A crown to hurt him and a cross to kill him. That’s what Jesus was given.
So Jesus had nothing, and he understands poverty. He can empathise with you and appreciate your fears. He can also act in your life to transform it, not by removing the threat of poverty from you, Christians have the same problems as everyone else. What he can do is give you hope, peace, satisfaction and life despite your problems. He once said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (4) It seems like a paradox but it’s true that we can enjoy a full life even when on the surface life seems hard. The externals weighing in on us don’t affect the internal joy and peace we can know. Whoever you are, whatever your circumstances, you can live with hope and be assured that Jesus will take care of you.
Citizens of Ukraine are finding hope while everything else is being taken from them. They find it through Jesus, and you can too. Jesus cares so much about you that he died for you. He accepted a crown and a cross because he loves you, and in the best and worst of times he will be with you and will take care of you. These are not just words. They’re a fact testified to by millions throughout history who have come to faith in Christ and discovered that he meets all their needs. Let him do it for you too.
- Luke 9:58
- Matthew 27:27-31
- John 19:17,18
- John 10:10