The proverb tells us ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.’ I’ve spent a lot of time this week baking cakes and quiches, and it struck me that you can’t really make anything with eggs without breaking them! Even boiled eggs, which are cooked in their shells, have to have those shells broken to access the egg inside. Any time we want to use the goodness of eggs, we have to break them. There is no goodness, no nutrition, no benefit to eggs which doesn’t involve brokenness.
We don’t much like to talk about brokenness, valuing strength, intactness and wholeness much more. But Easter reminds us that God chooses to use brokenness to mend brokenness.God chose to send His Son in obscurity, clothing Himself with human flesh, allowing Him to be born in a stable in Bethlehem, and then sealed our salvation through His death on a cross, and the lowliest form of death at that: crucifixion. Paul says we preach Christ crucified, which apparently didn’t make much sense to either Jews or non-Jews in his day and still doesn’t nowadays, but the truth is that ‘the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.’ (1 Cor 1:25)
God took up our pain; He bore our suffering. He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities. (Is 53:4-5) He was broken so that we could be made whole; as Isaiah goes on to say, ‘the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.’ (Is 53:5)
We might hope that Jesus being broken puts an end to all talk of brokenness now, but the truth is that we all have broken lives, and actually God seems to specialise in brokenness before there can be wholeness and restoration.Life has a habit of breaking us and we don’t see how we can serve God in this state. We want to be whole eggs. We want to be perfect people. But Paul says, ‘we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.’ (2 Cor 4:7) We have to be broken in order to become whole. The egg seems whole and perfect but is essentially useless without being broken. We too have to be prepared to bring our brokenness to God in order to be restored to that place of wholeness and completion which was His original purpose for us.
It doesn’t matter if we’re broken. We are still welcome in God’s presence. He still wants us. He doesn’t shun us because we are broken, the way we might throw away a broken toy as useless. He actually takes our brokenness and makes something beautiful from it: ‘You assemble all our broken, shattered pieces/ More beautiful than I had ever known.’ (‘Long Live The King’, Aaron Shust) Brokenness is no barrier to God. After all, ;a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.’ (Ps 51:17)