Being pieced back together
Being rescued by my prince Jesus was amazing; it was the most romantic thing that has ever happened to me. I often remember that day, 1 September, with great fondness. My hero, reached down from heaven, and swept me off my feet, rescuing me from the evil clutches of sin and death. He did it with style and flair, with all the things I needed to make it really memorable. He didn’t need to do it that way I am sure He could have done it a million other ways, but He chose to make it memorable in a way that was special to me.
Not only does my prince rescue but He also redeems. The word ‘redeem’ means to buy back, trade or exchange. My prince didn’t come down from heaven and steal me back to himself. No! He paid a high price for me. He exchanged His life for mine; He paid for my life with His. Not only did he redeem my life but He also redeemed the lost years from my past and He redeemed my entire future too. He bought back what I had thrown away to the pigs. What I had disregarded He prioritised. What I had given up He bought back. The life that I had wasted, He not only redeemed but He also made it brand new.
Have you ever watched the movie Joshua? There is a particular scene in this movie that sums up redemption beautifully. The leading lady, Anne, had recently lost her husband. She was obviously very confused and hurting and was seeking a new start in life. An opportunity arose for her to relocate so on the eve of her departure she visited Joshua to say good bye. Anne because understandably upset as she was sharing her hurt and frustration with Joshua. In the next scene she grabbed a vase and threw it on the floor saying;
“This is my life now, broken into pieces and there is no way it can be pieced back together again!”
She storms out the room crying and the camera turns to Joshua’s thoughtful face. Towards the end of the movie you see Anne opening a gift from Joshua. It is the most beautiful glass angel made up of all the broken pieces of glass from the vase that she threw on the floor.
Each time I watch this scene I cry as it reminds me of what God has done in my life. I took the whole and complete life He gave me and smashed it into thousands of pieces. He could have left it at that but He didn’t. He picked up each and every broken piece of my life and lovingly put them back together to make me into a whole person again. He didn’t waste one tiny bit of me. Best of all, He made me even more beautiful than I was when He started. He not only redeemed me by the precious blood of Jesus, He also rebuilt me and gave my life back to me to enjoy.
Jesus’ death on the cross was only the start! His death redeemed me. According to God’s law I should have been stoned to death and on judgement day I deserved the eternal fires of hell. Romans 6:23 clearly states that the wages of sin is death. I deserved death. Jesus’ death was the purchase price for my life, without accepting his death my death was certain. The great thing is that Jesus didn’t only die for me but he also rose again for me. His resurrection paved the way for the resurrection of my life. If He had only died, my sins would have been forgiven and I would have been saved from death, but that would be the end of the story.
But it’s not the end of the story! On the third day Jesus conquered death and rose again – He came alive again! This beautiful and powerful fact is what gives my life hope as all the dead parts in my life are resurrected too. What seemed to be lost and buried has been given a second chance. What was dead in my heart was given a second chance to live.
God sent Jesus to buy me back when I was broken. He didn’t buy me back when I was perfect or when I was pretty or even when I had it all figured out. No, He bought back the broken pieces of glass. He looked down at my messed up, broken life and said;
“I will pay the highest price possible for that pile of brokenness because I can see the potential that lies there. I love her and will not let her stay useless, ugly and broken. I will buy her back even though she doesn’t love me or appreciate all that I do for her. I can’t help myself, I just love her so very much!”
Can you imagine going to a pawn shop and asking the sales person if you could please buy the broken vase that a previous customer had dropped and lay in pieces on the floor? The vase was on its way to the rubbish bin and lay in the corner in the dust pan and brush ready to be discarded. You however insist on buying that vase, not the one on the shelf that is in perfect condition. Essentially that is what God did. And He paid with the blood of His Son.
So let’s take this scenario one step further. You go to the pawn shop to purchase the broken vase that lay in the dusty corner on the floor. The sales person says that it is not for sale but you insist.
The transaction was bitter sweet. Pain stabs at your heart as you walk away from your little boy but joy fills your heart when you look at your pile of broken glass. You can see the beautiful, priceless angel that will become of this glass.
It’s not that you didn’t care about your little boy. No, you loved him deeply. It’s just that you had already tried every possible alternative to buying the pile of glass and your little boy was the final attempt, the last resort, the only way. This is redemption.
This is a snippet of the fifth chapter from my new book 'Secure on the Rock' which will be released in paperback on 1 March 2011. Chapter 6 of Secure on the Rock will follow soon, more info available here.