It’s a beautiful paradox. It’s a mysterious gift. His brokenness overwhelms our brokenness. He has been broken to heal us. Brokenness is at the heart of the gospel. We, broken humanity, are unable to heal ourselves. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He was broken for our sake so we could become righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
As I have processed my loss—seeking healing for my grief—I have been sensitive to the Spirit’s speaking to my heart. Let’s just say loss removes a layer of life and makes you more perceptive. More observant. More discerning. As Jerry Sittser wrote in A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life, “Such is the paradox of the redemptive story—we lose to gain, die to live, renounce to inherit, surrender ourselves to get ourselves back.” Again, it’s a mystery. Once broken, lost, dead, and renounced we are renewed, found, given life, and accepted because of his brokenness. Our brokenness addressed by the suffering Savior.
“…looking through the broken grave of Christ, as through a window, we see green fields on the other side…” J. R. Miller, The Ministry of Comfort
We should expect brokenness, no doubt. Jesus was willing to give his life because brokenness is real, and it’s serious. Brokenness breeds and gives birth to all manner of pain and loss. And as Dane Ortland wrote in Gentle and Lowly, “Christ’s heart is not drained by our coming to him; his heart is filled up all the more by our coming to him.” He was broken for our sake. He gave himself out of love for us. His heart is full of love for us and is glorified and pleased when we turn to him.
“…looking through the window of Christ’s rent tomb we have a vision of life immortal and in the truth of immortality we find boundless inspiration, comfort for every sorrow and gain for every loss.” J. R. Miller, The Ministry of Comfort
Brokenness was annihilated on the cross. Paul David Tripp wrote in New Morning Mercies, “It is the cross of Jesus Christ that gives you reason to hope, sing, celebrate, and live.” Brokenness is already defeated and at the same time not yet. This is important to understand. I know we know it in our head. However, get this wisdom down into your heart. Faith causes us to stand firm and strong. We know by faith that brokenness will be defeated ultimately. However, we live in a broken world today. We experience temporal brokenness in the here-and-now. Eternal redemption is yet-to-be realized. Have faith. Hope. Stand strong.
“The whole work of God in redemption is to undo the tragic effects of that foul revolt, and to bring us back again into right and eternal relationship with himself.” A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Christ’s brokenness overwhelms our brokenness. His sacrifice overthrows the revolt and reunites mankind with the Maker. His broken body was given for us to heal our souls.
As you walk through loss brought on by the brokenness of the world, never forget that his brokenness heals our brokenness. His sacrifice delivers our redemption. His faithfulness inspires our faithfulness.
“And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’” Mark 14:22