Passion week is a special week of meditating on the suffering of Jesus. The way that Jesus walked is the way of suffering. The way that Jesus walked is the way of the cross. The way of the cross is the way of pain. It is the way that’s marked with tears. The way of the cross is the way of rejection and abandonment. The way of the cross is the way of being flogged, being spat on, and putting on a crown of thorns. The way of the cross is to be hurt. The way of the cross is the way of being smashed. The way of the cross is the way of brokenness.
Jesus broke his body on the cross and gave the bread of life. Jesus shared His last supper with His disciples the night before He died on the cross. At the time, Jesus gave the bread to His disciples after He gave thanks. He broke the bread first before He ate the bread. The bread symbolized Jesus’ body, which was torn on the cross. Jesus broke His body and divided it. The body was the bread of life. Jesus broke His body, and tore His own body and gave it to His disciples.
On the cross, Jesus poured out blood and water by breaking Himself (John 19:34). To love is to break. If you love, you break. Remember the woman who broke the alabaster jar? Because she loved Jesus, she broke an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on Jesus’ head. Love is giving. It is to give lavishly. Even after pouring out lavishly, love regrets having not given more. Love is a sacred waste. But we are joyful because of this love. Joy is the fruit of love. We were forgiven of our sins through Jesus’ brokenness.
The blood was poured out through Jesus’ breaking on the cross. The blood of Jesus is incomparable with the blood of animals. It is incomparable with ordinary people’s blood. The blood of Jesus is the blood of the Son of God. The blood of Jesus is the blood of God. Jesus is God who came in flesh (John 1:14). Jesus is God who created all things. He is God who reigns over all things. If we know who Jesus is, we can know how precious His blood is.
Jesus’ blood is power. Jesus’ blood is the power to redeem us. Jesus’s blood is the power to defeat the devil. Jesus is the power to free us from the authority of the devil. Jesus’ blood is the ability to forgive and cleanse the sins of all. The prophet Zechariah prophesied that a fountain will be opened to cleanse from sin and impurity. “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” (Zechariah 13:1) When Jesus died on the cross, a spring was opened to wash away sin and impurity. This fountain of blood that cleanses from sin and impurity has opened.
The living water was poured forth through Jesus’ brokenness on the cross. Brokenness is pain. One hurts when one is broken. One experiences pain when one is broken. But without breaking, Jesus’ living water is not poured out. Jesus is the Rock. God broke the rock in the wilderness and gave the Hebrews living water. God broke Jesus, who was a rock, on the cross and gave living water to all mankind. There is no living water without brokenness. Jesus is the fountain of living water. Jesus is the source of living water. Jesus invites the thirsty. When you come to Jesus, you can drink the living water. The living water that Jesus gives is the water of eternal life. The living water of Jesus gives us great satisfaction.
Breaking is the principle of God that begets life. It is also the mystery of God. When a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces much fruit. The death of a kernel of wheat refers to brokenness. The life of the seed is in its embryo. Therefore, the shell of the seed needs to be stripped. The process of peeling the seed’s shell is the process of breaking. When the seed is broken, the life hidden in the seed flows, buds, flowers, and produces abundant fruit. The mother raises her child in her womb for 10 months after conceiving. When the time comes, she breaks her womb and pours out blood and water to give birth to a child. A child cannot be born without breaking the womb. In order for a life to be born, she must experience the pain of breaking.
God sometimes breaks us. He breaks us to empty us of ourselves. God empties us so that He can give us blessings. When there is emptiness, there is a new filling. God breaks us to teach us. We come to realizations when we are broken. God breaks us down to cleanse us. We become a person of obedience through the suffering of brokenness. Therefore, do not be afraid of being broken. Give thanks for the brokenness. Above all, give thanks to Jesus for His brokenness, His love, and grace.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.