Questions and Answers

 

WHEN PEOPLE PRAY, THEY SPEAK ABOUT JESUS’ BROKEN BODY ON THE CROSS.  WHAT WAS BROKEN?

 

            Well, let’s begin in Lk. 22:16, it states, “For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”  Here, Jesus is about to select two things to do:  First, to eat unleavened bread which represented his body.  Second, to take the fruit of the vine which represented his blood.  And so in Lk. 22:17-18, “he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.  Here is where we traditionally follow the bread first and then the cup.  It is a good way to do it.  Then in vs. 19-20, “he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake  it , and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”

            Now, here is where we come into this broken body: “brake it.”  Consider: 1 Cor. 11:24, “And when he had given thanks, he brake it , and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”  Paul is quoting Jesus.  The word brake (eklasen) and broken (klomenon) are the same base Greek word: κλα?ω and it means “to break” as used in the New Testament of the breaking of bread or communion.  Likewise, Jesus said, here that the bread was broke, showing the bread to his disciples and explaining that this broken bread, that he was holding in his hands, represented his body.  And so, what is broken is the bread.  However, this does not seem to be the case when some pray for it.

            But, I would submit that if we are not referring to the bread that is broken, then pray tell, what was broken?  I mean, His bones were not broken.  Jn. 19:36, “For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.”  This is a quote from Psa. 34:20.

            Some say that while no bones were broken, his body was broken.  Well, it certainly was pierced and beaten.  But, being bodily broken suggest that Jesus was physically separated into pieces, that is not true.

            Some say that he was brought low from the Jews who broke his spirit.  This theory is from two verses: Lk. 23:46 when the Lord “gave up the ghost.”  But, this is simply talking about how Jesus was breathing out his last breath.  And secondly, notice that the text say, “he gave up.”  This goes along with Jn. 10:18 states, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

            Now, a second verse that people may use to say that the Jews broke his spirit is from Jn. 19:30 when the Lord said, “It is finished.”  But, what was finished?  The abuse Jesus endured or was it, the whole will of God?  Remember, Jesus was exposed to shame and reproach, to preach the Gospel, work miracles, to seek the lost, to fulfill all righteousness, to live perfect as a man, to be sin for mankind and to fulfill all promises and prophecies regarding the Messiah.  Again, the Jews had not broken his spirit.  When Jesus said “it is finished,” he freely submitted to the Father’s will and the stroke of death.  The Jews didn’t break our Lord’s spirit.

            Now, there are some who say that Jesus was broken in the sense that the mankind weakened him.  Well, he certainly did grieve for mankind.  But, Jesus heals a broken heart (Psa. 147:3).  Also, how can Deity be weakened?  That leads us down a road filled with guesses and not facts.  And, we are here to look at the facts, the truth (Jn. 8:32).

            Now, I guess one could say that he was broken in the sense that he was tamed or trained to obey the Father’s will.  In the garden in Gethsemane, in Matt. 26:39, it states, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt .”  So, this in theory could be the reason why some say that his body was broken.

            But, primarily, people use 1 Cor. 11:24 to explain that his body was broken and do not consider the context and what Paul is really saying here.  Paul is explaining that Jesus broke the bread with his hands and then said to take this broken bread and eat it, knowing that it represents my body.  Being broken for you was so to distribute it among the disciples.  Jesus was saying that this physical bread is not to your bodily health, but is to the spiritual health of all those who believe in me.  And so, Paul is explaining to the church at Corinth that this is what the Lord’s supper is and not just some ordinary meal.  Again, I would suggest the Lord was not broken in any way except to the submission to the will of God (Matt. 26:39).

Robert Notgrass

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