Brokenness Is Not The Final Word

This is Day 17 of my Write 31 Days series for 2017: 31 Days of Kintsugi.
For an index of all the posts in the series, please click here.

resurrection

Yesterday we focussed on the cross, on Jesus’ choice to embrace brokenness, and to sacrifice himself that we might be made whole.

To the people there at the time it must have seemed like the brokenness had won, that despite his love and acts of goodness Jesus had been defeated by death.  Surely there was no way back from this?

And yet, on the third day, that’s exactly what happened- Jesus came back.  Just as an object repaired by the technique of Kintsugi is different from its original state, Jesus was not quite the same as he was before.  Some of his followers spent significant time walking and talking with him along the road to Emmaus without recognising him, and even Mary, one of his closest friends, failed to recognise him at first.

There was no question though that this was Jesus- real, alive, flesh-and-blood.  Brokenness and death had not had the final word; God had shown that his healing power was stronger.  There is no brokenness that is beyond his repair.

Just as Kintsugi honours the history of the object and makes no attempt to hide the brokenness and repair but instead makes them a feature, even after his resurrection, Jesus still bore his scars.

They seem to be a notable feature in the accounts of his post-resurrection appearances to his disciples in the upper room and later to Thomas:

  • “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?  Look at my hands.  Look at my feet.  You can see that it is really me.”  (Luke 24:38-39 NLT)
  • “As he spoke, he showed then the wounds in his hands and his side.”  (John 20:20 NLT)
  • “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands.  Put your hand into the wound in my side!  Don’t be faithless any longer.  Believe!””  (John 20:27 NLT)

Jesus’ scars seem to be important as a way of identifying him, of helping the disciples see that this really was their friend Jesus and that he really had risen from the dead.

His scars are no longer ugly, but a beautiful reminder of truth.  St Thomas Aquinas writes, “He kept His scars not from inability to heal them, but to wear them as an everlasting trophy of His victory.”

The scars speak of the pain and suffering he endured and remind us of the price he paid for us, but they are also a testimony to his victory, declaring that brokenness can be restored and evil does not have the final word.

Just as the golden lines of Kintsugi testify to the possibility of restoration and the hope of brokenness made beautiful, so too can our scars be a testimony of God’s healing power and his ability to transform even a seemingly impossible situation into something good.

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30 thoughts on “Brokenness Is Not The Final Word

  1. I am sore wounded but not yet slain.
    I will lay me down to bleed awhile,
    and then I’ll rise to fight again.

    When I get to Heaven God will just give me some fresh magazines, a few frags, and a few MREs, and send me out again.

    New world, new war, same old me.

    Don’t know how to spell ‘brokken’ or ‘surendar’. Let the other guy learn.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Andrew, I love your determination and your fighting spirit! Honestly though, in heaven I think the war will be won. Jesus will have conquered and you will be on the winning side. You won’t need to fight again- you’ll just get to enjoy the victory!

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  2. Excellent in every way. I love that Jesus was identified by his scars. Often we feel the same but not in a positive way. To know we are healed helps us not hide the scars but tell of the healing and Healer. Sharing this with our community.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Debby! I agree, we don’t always like our scars, or being identified by them, but they can be a great testimony of God’s healing work in our lives.

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  3. Would you believe I wrote (not for publication) on this passage and concept last night? Thank you for expanding on and reaffirming this amazing truth! So grateful for this beautiful reminder!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Meghan! Yes, it is amazing that Jesus took the disciples’ doubts seriously and gave them the reassurance they needed, and that he does the same for us.

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  4. Lesley, what a beautiful post! I especially loved what you said here:
    “His scars are no longer ugly, but a beautiful reminder of truth.”

    Scars only indicate the full story, and in Jeaus’-and ours-case, they are reminders of the beautiful truth of redemption. We’re never the same once He enters our lives.

    This series is profound.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Christy, I have to say your comment makes me kind of nervous because that is as far as I’ve got in writing the series! I do have a plan for the rest of the posts- I just haven’t written any of them. The first half of the month was extremely busy for me so most of the posts were written in advance and I was very organised. Now I’m winging it slightly… but hopefully it will turn out ok! 🙂

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  5. I’m so grateful that this is true for us as well: “Just as an object repaired by the technique of Kintsugi is different from its original state, Jesus was not quite the same as he was before.” We’re never the same even from one day to the next, and that’s a good thing! Thanks for this beautiful series, Lesley.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Love this view of scars–we carry them but they become a mark of God’s work in our life. This certainly true of the death of my son. I learned so much more about God as we walked thru that time period.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carol! Yes, the pain and the beauty so often seems intermingled. I’m so sorry for the loss of your son, but grateful that you knew God with you, teaching you and helping you. Thanks for visiting!

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  7. Enjoyed reading this post. Such a great reminder: “Brokenness and death had not had the final word; God had shown that his healing power was stronger. There is no brokenness that is beyond his repair.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Good stuff, Lesley. Reading this puts me in a contemplative mood. I wonder if we’ll get to touch the scars when we see Him face-to-face? As a way of honoring and worshiping Him?

    Liked by 2 people

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