Jesus was broken on the cross. He lived his suffering and death not as an evil to avoid at all costs, but as a mission to embrace. We too are broken. We live with broken bodies, broken hearts, broken minds or broken spirits. We suffer from broken relationships.
How can we live our brokenness? Jesus invites us to embrace our brokenness as he embraced the cross and live it as part of our mission. He asks us not to reject our brokenness as a curse from God that reminds us of our sinfulness but to accept it and put it under God’s blessing for our purification and sanctification. Thus our brokenness can become a gateway to new life.
Jesus is given to the world. He was chosen, blessed, and broken to be given. Jesus’ life and death were a life and death for others. The Beloved Son of God, chosen from all eternity, was broken on the cross so that this one life could multiply and become food for people of all places and all times.
As God's beloved children we have to believe that our little lives, when lived as God’s chosen and blessed children, are broken to be given to others. We too have to become bread for the world. When we live our brokenness under the blessing, our lives will continue to bear fruit from generation to generation. That is the story of the saints - they died, but they continue to be alive in the hearts of those who live after them – and it can be our story too.
Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey
The past three weeks have been a bit of a roller-coaster, health wise, and it has been difficult to find my blogging voice in the ups and downs. Nouwen is right, here, though: it is in our own brokenness that we become of use to others, in that peculiar way that God has of bringing good out of even appalling circumstances, as Paul describes so well in Romans 8.28.
For a long time now I have been moved, sometimes to tears, by the thought that the risen Christ, glorified to the point where some of his closest friends often did not recognise him (Luke 24.16; John 20.14-15), able to materialise and dematerialise at will (Luke 24.31,36; John 20.19,26) still bore the marks of his crucifixion (John 20.28 among other references) plainly visible and tangible. His was not a perfected, airbrushed resurrection, but a resurrection that carried within it the wounds that made us whole (Isaiah 53.5; 1 Peter 2.24).
We cannot expect any less. Forgiven for our cruelties, our callousness, our constant selfishness, healed from the wounds that have been given us by others, we still bear the marks, plainly enough, of what we have been through. It cannot be otherwise; if we were not so scarred, how could we bring solace to anyone else’s pain?