The Broken, Bloody Truth

Today I’m thinking about how quickly things can come apart,
how little it takes to unravel something it took years to create,
how with one little click we can delete the work of a lifetime,
with a single bad choice, undo the good of many right ones.
Maybe I’ve overdosed on the Olympics –
that two-week cautionary tale about how even with talent, conditioning, coaching, and hours of practice
an athlete can have
a bad break,
an off day,
or unfavorable conditions
and wind up off camera watching the medal ceremony from the stands.
Maybe it’s on my mind because I read a book by Phil Vischer,
creator and founder of VeggieTales.
Me, Myself & Bobis the story of how VeggieTales came to be
and then wasn’t.
It’s about how the man who was the founder of Big Idea lost it all in a heartbeat, a breath, a single gasp.
Mr. Vischer is transparent about the pain the loss of his company caused to those who believed in it.
One day, there were creators, animators, artists, businesspeople, sales reps and support staff who believed in a cause, were part of a vital team and felt God had called them to a particular work.
The next day, they received pink slips and it was all over.
The Big Idea was suddenly just a scrap of paper blowing around the courtyard of the mall while a man in a lawsuit sat on a park bench looking dazed and confused.
Just like that.
Maybe I’m thinking about all of this because I’ve been reading Mark 14 where Mark captures,
the breakneck speed at which the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ
came to a bone-splintering, blood-spilling halt.
Just like that.
One minute, twelve devoted disciples are enjoying a Passover meal with the man they know is the Messiah.
They’ve seen miracles, heard the truth, glimpsed the Kingdom come.
They’re on the inside, the ground floor, the breaking news
But suddenly Jesus is talking about betrayal and denial.
He mentions leaving.
He’s distressed.
He can’t sleep and He’s annoyed with them because they can.
“He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,’ he said to them.” Mark 14: 33-34
Men with swords arrive with one of their own isn’t who they thought he was.
Things get very real very fast
and they abandon Jesus so quickly that one of them runs from the garden naked.
And just like that, Jesus is alone before the authorities.
Judas betrays Him.
Peter denies Him.
The others abandon Him.
Lies and corruption rule the day.
An innocent man is sentenced to die.
Just hours from a warm meal, intimate fellowship, and visionary prayer
He falls beneath the boot of an earthly power
and is crushed
None of them saw that coming.
Jesus wasn’t defeated when His earthly ministry was broken – in fact – the brokenness was part of the plan.
And brokenness may be part of God’s plan for us (and maybe that’s why I’m thinking about all of this
my own brokenness)
And so, brokenness may be God’s plan for us
but that’s not easy to read because we don’t know when our resurrection is coming.
But Jesus’ brokenness wasn’t easy either
not for Him,
not for those who loved Him.
It’s only in telling the whole story
that the pain becomes bearable.
While it was occurring
with thorns, whips, nails, humiliation, and soul-crushing separation from God
it was unendurable.
And while we may be called to brokenness, suffering, and earthly pain,
Jesus’ suffering secured a gift for us – one that
He was denied in that final moment –
The promise that we will NOT be alone.
NOTHING can separate us from the love of Christ.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” Romans 8:35
The strips on His back.
The nails in His hand.
The thorns on His brow.
The spear in His side.
The blood that flowed – His blood –
Purchased the scarlet cord that keeps me tethered to the heart that is my eternal home – Jesus Christ.
Nothing will sever that cord.
Nothing can unravel that work.
No click will undo what He has done in my life.
No bad choice will overcome His work within me.
No loss will be greater than the gain of knowing Him.
I know this by faith and I know it by experience.
We can face the brokenness of our lives knowing that the same Spirit that restored Him to life,
resurrected the Messiah and Coming King –
that same Spirit lives and works in the midst of our broken lives.
One day, the brokenness and the unraveling and the bad choices and the loss and the death will all be over –
just like that
and LIFE will come at us fast –
everlasting, eternal life,
and it will stay forever.

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    The Conversation

  1. Anonymous says:

    Not a light, humorous blog today. Just the plain truth, said in words everyone can understand. But only Believers can understand the Truth of each word. Thank you for the reminder. MOMMA

  2. Pam Manners says:

    I agree with MOMMA. This is quite deep and serious. But we all need to know and remember the truth and the promise contained in this post. That verse from Romans 8 has been popping all over lately.

    Not sure what you’re going through — I remember there have been concerns with your husband’s health — but please know that you are challenging me on and helping me to deal with my own brokenness, through what God is teaching you through yours.

    And I thank you for that, Lori.