Saturday, April 4, 2015

Life Giving Death

 
Broken.
Sounds like a terrible word. Sounds sad, painful, helpless and weak. The thing about this word though, is that it has much hope. Broken things don't always stay that way. With imagination and determination broken things can be redeemed. Creativity and power make new things. This word needs to have a new connotation. The image of throwing away anything broken needs to be rid of. Images of new life, freshness and purpose should come to mind with this word. What do these things have in common?
tamed horses
planted seeds
olives
Jesus

They all have to be under pressure...broken...in order for their glory to be displayed. A powerful horse is of no use unless it submits to the guidance of it's master. A beautiful, life giving tree cannot exist without the breaking of seed in a hard, dark, cold ground.  Olives provide the healing power of it's oil only after it is pressed and emptied. Death could not have been defeated unless the perfect, selfless, all wise and humble God-Man offered Himself to be broken. 

The glory of God's eternal life, extended to us, had to come by His submission to the ungodly behavior of man for a time. Then came the breaking and burying of the Seed. The healing of our own souls through forgiveness would not be possible without the painful crushing of His soul that good day. 

He showed us, with blood, sweat and tears, how to be broken. He wants us to follow and fall on Him...let yourself be broken, so He can put you back together in a resurrection. Stop fighting to keep it together, to be strong and in control. Trust the Cornerstone to break you carefully, for the purpose of glory...His and yours. A new foundation...a beautifully designed structure...with a plan and purpose. It's better than the alternative. Without the surrendering to Him and with the choice of being your own god, comes an eventual destruction. Destruction...this word has no hope. It has no redemptive meaning. It's final and sad. Broken is better than destroyed. 

"Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed." 
Matthew 21:44

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair." 2 Corinthians 4:8

"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you." 2 Corinthians 4:8-12

I'm learning to be broken, to stop trying to save myself and to embrace the discomfort of suffering. It inevitably happens to us all, so I might as well use it for His glory and my good. 

Friday is over and Resurrection Sunday is right around the corner. Christ is proclaiming victory in unseen places in the meantime. You can't see it yet, but it is here. The time between the breaking and the building. The time to trust.

Footnote...I love it when He speaks by bombarding me with the same theme. These verses, then this song on the way home from town. Yes, I hear the message:

"Blessed and Broken" by Nicole C Mullen