1 Peter 3:18 (ESV)
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
When I think about Jesus being crucified, the cross is the part of the story that is hard to hear. Watching the movie, The Passion of the Christ – I can remember sitting in the theater watching that scene with tears flowing and my chest heaving in sobs. I felt pain. I felt guilt. I felt incredibly loved.
It was the first true graphic portrayal of His pain that I had ever seen, and yet even Hollywood’s best technology and cinema could not really take me back to the cross. The Cross where my Savior Died… For me.
Lately, it’s gotten really personal. I have thought all week about the cross. The cross is the part of the story that we can’t miss. It’s just too important. We can’t miss the broken: the hurt, the pain, the harm, the betrayal, the blood, and the agony of sweat and tears. It’s not the part of the story we usually share with others when we tell them of our Jesus.
We normally talk about His Peace. His Comfort. His Love. His Protection. His Sovereignty.
Recently, I am finding much comfort in the cross. It’s the important part of the story. His brokenness helps me to make sense of my brokenness. His pain connecting with my pain. His agony getting right beside my agony and his tears blending in with my tears whispering softly to my soul, “I am with you. You were never alone and I do understand. I understand every pain and all elements of every pain because I felt it all on that cross for you. No sin has been committed by you or against you that I have not endured when I hung there breathless and bleeding to die. I took on All of the Sins of the world. I felt that and I know.”
You see, the broken pieces of our lives are not the pieces that we typically share with others. In fact, the “broken” is the part we may spend our lifetime desperately trying to hide. I hid most of my broken pieces for a very long time. I even hid it from Jesus, and I boxed it all away literally fearing the day he would tell me that He knew the contents of that box.
I was afraid because I did not understand the contents of the box. I thought He didn’t love me. I thought I was born that way – that He made me that way – He made me for that purpose. When I heard of others being healed, I thought – wow! He could not do that for me. Not for what I am, For what I’ve done. It’s just too much. And two years ago, I opened the box ever so gently.
Little by little, He has helped me take out the contents and see it through His eyes and through His truth. He has taught me so much and He has tenderly shown me that I am His Child, Chosen and Loved, not for Chains, but for Freedom.
The cross was horrific. It was tragic. Our minds can not begin to grasp the enormous pain that would come from enduring all sin especially if we had never sinned! Can you imagine the darkness?
In our own broken lives – the really broken parts in boxes and under beds and in closets – we think that those are the parts of the our story that we can leave out! People don’t need to hear those parts! It’s just too bad, and plus, it may just make us look bad! What will people think??
And yet, it’s in our broken pieces that we find Jesus. It’s in sharing that brokenness that we can help others find Him. What would the story of Jesus be without the Cross? What would your story be without your brokenness? Every time we take the bread and we drink the blood, we remember the sacrifice.
Every time we remember our pain and hurt, and we share that burden with another … sometimes, we hear their burden and their hurt. We remember His sacrifice was to heal that – even that! His blood has it covered. He did not die in vain, nor do we ever suffer in vain.
I am reflecting on Broken this Holy week. I am not put together. I do not have it all figured out. I don’t have anything figured out. I am begging Him and pleading with Him, for His will not mine. Help me to surrender. All.
The story doesn’t end on the cross. Your broken doesn’t end in a box covered in dust.
He is risen. When we arise to meet our Savior in glory, there will be no more pain, no more harm, no more shame or suffering. Oh what comfort and joy awaits us, but until then… embrace the broken pieces.
I have never experienced more comfort and joy the way I have with Christ in my brokenness. My strength is renewed each time I bring a piece of my broken before Him and lay it at His cross where He gently and tenderly heals me. Piece by piece. Broken pieced together. Made new. Made beautiful.