Monday, December 3, 2012

This is My Body, Broken for You

Amazing Love by Deborah Woodall

As we do on the first Sunday of each month, we celebrated Communion at church yesterday morning. A lovely Christmas tree graced the front of the worship center and the first Advent candle glowed. As Pastor Pat blessed the bread and reminded us of Jesus' words, "This is my body, broken for you," I thought about the glory of Jesus in Heaven, pre-existant with the Father and the Holy Spirit. It was that glory that he laid aside when he took the form of an unborn child, growing in the womb of a young woman. Mary carried him and sang over him. She marveled at her role in his life. When his little body was fully developed, she delivered him, nursed him, raised him. His was the body that was broken for us. His was the body that took up our sin and shame, our sickness and sorrow. Through his stripes we receive healing.

After the bread, the cup. "This is my blood, poured out for the forgiveness of sin." We're told in Leviticus 17:11 that the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for youselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. Indeed, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). The blood that flowed through that child in the womb, that tiny baby, that little boy, that teenager, that young man, that despised and rejected one hung on a cross, that blood was given to pay for our sins.

Only in retrospect can we know the future of an infant. When we hold a newborn in our arms we do not imagine a stormy life or a terrible death. Such possibilities are unfathomable for one so small and innocent. But now we know that "the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay" was born to be broken, so that he might restore our broken lives and our broken world.

From that manger hear the Lord Jesus speak to your deepest places, "This is my body, broken for you." And feed upon this truth in your heart.

1 comment:

Joan Husby said...

Amazing! Unfathomable!