“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified…’ And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover… Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'” Matthew 26:1-2,19,26-28
In recent days, my heart is breaking as I have observed much brokenness in lives– cracked and ruptured marriages and fall-out with children; depression and feelings of worthlessness; mental instability that clouds perception, escalates anxiety, and wreaks irreparable harm in relationships; addictions that have shattered careers and trust; death. God, knowing my heart, opened to me this beautiful and familiar passage of the hours preceding Calvary. Jesus, the Whole and Perfect Son of God, broke bread, symbolizing His body, gave thanks, and distributed it to His beloved disciples. He knew that He would soon be put to death on the cross to save them from sin, to redeem them from all the brokenness they and mankind for all ages suffered and will suffer. “Take, eat, this is My body, broken for you.” And for me. Broken bread, a broken body, for broken lives.
“The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:33,35
Jesus went to the cross and was crucified, and buried, vanquishing sin and death, all that is ‘excruciating’ (‘out of the cross’) in our experience. He was broken not only for sin itself, the tainting of Eden, but for all its attending grief, poverty, sickness, longing, separation, antagonism, struggle with the flesh, innocent victims- the weeds in, and banishment from, Eden. Then He was raised from the dead victorious, to open for us in our resurrected Savior His powerful and personal presence with us always in the Holy Spirit, and certain hope for an eternal future with no pain, illness, tears, brokenness. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.” Hallelujah! (John 14:16-17; Revelation 21:4)
Great Redeemer, You know the burden I carry today, yet You bore this weight and more on the cross. Every time my heart is shattered, every time I partake of the broken bread and cup, remind me of Your inextinguishable love for broken man, of Your triumph, and of Your present and coming glory through it all.