Over the last week, we have looked at several different examples of Kintsugi in the Bible, where we see God at work in the lives of ordinary people, taking their brokenness and creating beauty. Today we come to the ultimate example of Kintsugi- Jesus himself.
For each of us, the brokenness comes too easily. Despite our best intentions, we say and do things that dishonour God and hurt others, and the pain of others’ sin against us causes us to doubt God and put up barriers of self-protection against others. We don’t have to choose brokenness; it is often something we try to avoid, but still it is inevitable.
Of all the human beings who have ever lived, Jesus was the one exception. He was whole, but he chose to be broken for us.
Humbling himself to leave the glory of heaven and come to earth, he was born into this broken world, into the lowliest of surroundings. From his earliest years, he encountered the brokenness of the world as he and his family had to flee for their lives from King Herod.
And yet he remained whole. He taught truth, showed love, and healed sickness- demonstrating in countless ways God’s heart for the broken and his power to restore, until finally he faced the hardest choice of all- to be broken for us.
He knew that only by his body broken could we be made whole. As bread was broken and wine poured out, so his body must be broken and his blood poured out to heal and restore the world, to allow us to approach God to receive his forgiveness and healing.
He wrestled against the brokenness, praying in the garden that the cup be taken from him, asking if there was another way. But in the end he surrendered. He knew it was the only way, it was God’s way, so he submitted to the brokenness.
And the brokenness was not pretty. It can be easy to take Jesus’ suffering for granted because we know how the story ends but it was brutal:
Beating, whipping, mocking, an angry crowd baying for blood, the pain of knowing betrayal by one of his closest friends, abandonment by the others who swore they’d stand by him, being forced to carry his cross in his already weak and agonised state, and then the crucifixion itself.
Nails hammered into flesh and bone, cross raised up until he hung there, slowly suffocating, while still people mocked and jeered and taunting him, challenging him to show his power if he really was the Son of God.
He was broken in every way- physically, emotionally, and spiritually to the point where he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mark 15:34 NLT)
There was nothing beautiful about the brokenness itself, but there is incredible beauty in all that it achieved. Because of Jesus’ brokenness, we can be made whole; because of his sacrifice, we can be made right with God.
“He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.
By his wounds you are healed.” (1 Peter 3:22-24 NLT)