MESSAGE DELIVERED: NOVEMBER 5, 2017
Some years ago, Dawn managed a fancy gifts and collectibles store at the Tucson Mall, and I worked there with her, just so we could spend time together. But I was UNPAID! No way would I work for her for wages. I already have a BOSS in Jesus, and that’s enough!
But anyway, one day a young couple came in, with a little baby in a stroller, and they bought a small and pretty expensive figurine. It was FRAGILE, but it was well-packed and protected, and they handled the package very carefully, even placed it inside the baby’s stroller.
But when they left, they went down to the food court for a snack, and they took the thing OUT of its package, and DROPPED it. BROKE it! They brought the broken thing back to the store, and I’m not sure what they expected us to DO about it, since the breakage was obviously their OWN fault.
But I’ve had quite a bit of experience in REPAIRING things LIKE that, so I asked them to leave it with me and come back in an hour or so, which they did. And when they came back, still upset, they saw their little figurine looked as good as NEW.
In fact, they even accused me of substituting the broken one for a NEW one. But I assured them that doing THAT wouldn’t be a very wise BUSINESS practice and all I did was use a little glue and some touch-up paint, and VOILA!…as good as new.
Well, they were really grateful, and took their little goodie, and I noticed that NOW they weren’t nearly as careful with it as they were before, because NOW they knew that SOMETIMES, broken things can be restored.
See, when they learned that what was broken, could be restored, it CHANGED their outlook. And this morning, I want to give YOU that same assurance. I want YOU to realize that BROKENESS can sometimes be a GOOD thing! And, I want to show you THAT, from God’s Holy Word.
So, in that Upper room so long ago, Jesus taught His disciples, and US by extension, a valuable lesson. He taught us that the KEY to the FUTURE, is in REMEMBERING the PAST.
HE took that old familiar ceremony of the Passover Supper, and He CHANGED it, to become something even more meaningful. He took the ceremony that symbolized Israel being freed from slavery in Egypt, and changed it into a ceremony that symbolizes ALL of mankind, being freed from slavery to SIN! And He symbolized it, through the BREAKING of BREAD, and showing how HIS body would soon BE broken, for US!!
With God, it is often brokenness, that makes things USEFUL. And if the key to the FUTURE, is remembering the PAST, then the key to the PAST is THIS: GOD is HOLY!!…and has ALWAYS BEEN Holy. MAN is SINFUL, and since the FALL in the Garden, man has always BEEN sinful. But God Himself has made a way for sinful man, and Holy God, to be RECONCILED!!
And the key to that reconciliation is THIS: “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The KEY to the reconciliation between God and man, is JESUS, God’s Only Begotten Son…who gave His Life for us…who gave His Body to be beaten, and reviled, and MURDERED!! And Who gave His Life’s Blood, to be poured out in Sacrifice…the ONLY possible, Perfect sacrifice!! And that Sacrifice was PLEASING to God.
I want to very quickly point out that it was NOT the SUFFERING and the DEATH of the Son that was pleasing to God. It was the FAITHFULNESS of the Son, in BEARING the suffering and death, which God found PLEASING. Faithfulness is what God always looks for, in His servants.
So it is through the workings of God with man that we can see the usefulness in broken things. Go all the way back to the very beginning, to Genesis 1:1: “In the Beginning, God Created the heavens and the Earth. And the earth was formless, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
In the Beginning, there was the UNformed earth, and there was God and there was SILENCE.
Everything was silent, until God spoke, and BROKE that silence, with the POWER of His Voice. And He said “let there be LIGHT! And there WAS light, and God Saw the light, that it was GOOD”.
By the Power of God’s Voice, SILENCE was BROKEN, and Creation began. Without that Voice, all would have remained forever VOID, and SILENT! But God had a PLAN, and by His Word, He put that plan into action.
Beloved, that PLAN that God had, included YOU, being here today, and coming under the influence of His Word. This didn’t “just happen”. You’re not here by accident. You’re here as a PART of God’s Great Plan…which was set into motion, so long ago, by those FOUR awesome Words…”let there be LIGHT”!!
Jehovah God BROKE that PRIMEVAL SILENCE, in PART, to bring YOU, HERE, today. In the 14th chapter of this Gospel by Matthew that we’re looking at this morning, there is the story of GOD, come to earth in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth. And you see Jesus facing a crowd of THOUSANDS, and they were HUNGRY…but they had NO food. But, as you remember, there was one small boy there, who gave Jesus his own LUNCH. Five little loaves, like biscuits, and two small smoked fish. As long as those loaves and fishes stayed WITH that small boy, they remained capable of FEEDING, only that small boy!!
But when they had been given to Jesus, and BROKEN, they became capable of feeding many THOUSANDS. God often uses BROKEN things, to accomplish His own purposes.
In the Gospel of MARK, chapter 14, verse 3, is the story of a woman who came to Jesus to make an expression of her love. She brought a JAR of very precious ointment, and she BREAKS that jar, in order to POUR that ointment on Jesus’ Hair. In John’s Gospel, that woman is identified as MARY, the SISTER of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. And there we see JUDAS OBJECTING to what HE called the WASTE of the MONEY! That ointment was worth almost a whole year’s wages…say, 30 or 40 thousand dollars, today.
Mary had probably HAD that ointment for a LONG time. She had probably even been saving it for her OWN burial. It was kept in a jar that had been carved out of ALABASTER, which was a soft type of marble, which was very DENSE, and perfect for STORING things LIKE this, since once the jar was sealed, it would NOT Leak, or allow the contents to dry out.
But when Mary came into Jesus’ presence, she BROKE that jar, in order to get AT its contents. And John tells us as SOON as the jar was BROKEN, the AROMA of the ointment FILLED the whole house.
As long as it remained IN the jar, it did NO good for ANYONE. But when it was BROKEN, it allowed her to ANOINT Jesus’ Hair…an anointing that Jesus said was done against the day of His Death, since THEN, there would be no TIME for a PROPER anointing.
As long as it remained IN the jar, it provided NO benefit to anyone. But once broken, it gave benefit to everyone, as the AROMA filled the house with its sweet fragrance and helped prepare The Lord for coming Sacrifice.
Then, in all FOUR of the Gospels, we read of how a SAVIOR was broken, God’s Own Son was sent to offer us HOPE, and HELP…and how, instead, He was rejected, and BROKEN, for US!! He was broken with the FISTS of the priests and soldiers…with a WHIP, and with THORNS…with NAILS and finally a SPEAR!
As long as He remained IN the Flesh, He remained IMMANUEL, “God with us”. As long as He remained ALIVE, He remained the INCARNATION of the long awaited MESSIAH!!
BUT, when He was BROKEN, when he went to the CROSS, and DIED, then with the pouring out of His Life’s Blood, He became OUR atonement. He became OUR ‘propitiation’. He became OUR reconciliation with God the Father.
When Jesus gave His Body, to be BROKEN for US, then, BY His Sacrifice, WE became SAVED!!
When Pilate had Him scourged, and brought Him out to PRESENT Him to that BLOOD THIRSTY crowd, and showed Him, BLOODIED, BEATEN, NEAR death, and when Pilate shouted “ECCE HOMO”…BEHOLD THE MAN!…IF he had then RELEASED Jesus, told the crowd there was NO FAULT in Him and set Him free…if he had told the crowd that Jesus was INNOCENT, and had already suffered MORE than enough…HAD Pilate DONE that, WE would still be IN our SINS, and ENEMIES of God!
But it DIDN’T end there. JUST as God had intended, Pilate gave IN to the Jews, and ALLOWED Jesus to be led to the CROSS…led away to DIE! And when He was COMPLETELY broken, when the THREAD of His LIFE was BROKEN, and He DIED…THEN, and ONLY then, we who now BELIEVE, can be saved.
So, for OUR sakes, SILENCE was broken…and BREAD was broken…a FLASK was broken…and a SAVIOR was broken. But there is ONE thing that will NEVER be broken! And THAT is a PROMISE!
It’s the Promise that God Himself has made to the whole WORLD. I read it to you, just a minute ago. It’s from the 3rd chapter of John, verse 16…I know that ALL of you have MEMORIZED that promise, so I want you to repeat it WITH me, ok? Here we go…”For God so loved the world that he GAVE His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
So, are YOU a “whosoever”? This is an unbreakable Promise from God. That IF YOU believe in the One He sent here to die FOR YOU…IF you believe, YOU YOURSELF, will NEVER die! When your life HERE is finished, your NEW life in HEAVEN will begin IMMEDIATELY, and IT will NEVER end! And that PROMISE will never be BROKEN!
God has told us that Heaven and earth will pass away, but His WORD will NEVER pass away…and His PROMISE is Eternal, Joyful LIFE, for ALL who believe.
Jesus came to Earth 2000 years ago, and he DIED for US, THEN, so that He can live IN us, NOW. And in order for THAT to happen, YOU now have to become BROKEN…your PRIDE, your SELF-WILL, your STUBBORNESS, you need to bring to Jesus…BROKEN…so He can replace them with HIS Will, because HIS Will is PERFECT!!
Have YOU ever done that? Have you ever come to the place where you MUST say “Lord, I’ve made such a MESS of my life. Will YOU please come and become The Lord OF my life, and LEAD me to where I’m supposed to be?” Have you ever done that? Or have you DONE it, in the PAST, and then walked AWAY from Him again and need to come BACK again?
There is NOTHING else you CAN do, that will have such EVERLASTING consequences. On the night of that Last Supper, Jesus initiated a memorial of BREAD, Broken like His Body, and WINE, poured OUT like His Blood. Thousands of years even before THAT, a Pharaoh in Egypt sought to build a memorial to himself…and he had a PYRAMID built, whose BASE covered 13 acres! Two and a half million stones were used in its construction. One hundred thousand men labored for twenty years to erect this memorial.
And while it still stands, the desert sands have buried its base, and the sun and wind have eroded its surface, and thieves have broken in and stolen its treasures, and the great memorial of Cheops is little more now than a curiosity.
But the Memorial the LORD made, is one of LOVE, and SACRIFICE, not PRIDE.
And the Beauty of THAT Memorial will NEVER be diminished by time, or repetition. And no THIEF can ever STEAL its treasure.
Each time believers gather to SHARE the BROKEN Bread that represents His Body, and the WINE that represents His Blood, we observe a memorial that is as FRESH and as VITAL, and as POWERFUL, as the night it was established.
And that’s what we’re going to do now…so first I have to caution you that this observance is open to ALL believers, but ONLY to believers! We’ll see that in just a minute as I read the Words that institute this observance. So if you’re here and NOT a believer, I encourage you to BECOME one right NOW! Just open your heart and ASK Him to come IN, and to become the LORD of YOUR life, and then you can JOIN us in this awesome and timeless memorial.