Christ's Body, Broken for You- Part 1

Descida da Cruz by António Nogueira. Public Domain.

Mark 15:15 (NRSV)
So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Psalm 22:14-15 (NRSV)
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. The reality is so horrible it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith.
― W.H. Auden

Our crucifixes exhibit the pain, but they veil, perhaps necessarily, the obscenity: but the death of the God-Man was both. ― Charles Williams

Jesus’ suffering on the cross was a correct diagnosis and revelation of the human dilemma. It was an invitation to enter into solidarity with the pain of the world, and our own pain, instead of always resisting it, avoiding it, or denying it. Lady Julian of Norwich, my favorite Christian mystic, understood it  so well, and she taught, in effect, that “There is only one suffering and we all share in it.” – Richard Rohr

There are six varieties of wounds that a person can receive in their body.

  • Abrasive wound – Where the skin is scraped off. This can result from stumbling or by carrying a rough object or by a glancing blow
  • Confused wound – caused by a heavy blow.
  • Incised wound – produced by a knife or spear or other sharp instrument.
  • Lacerated wound – where the flesh is torn open leaving jagged edges.
  • Penetrating wound – where the flesh is pierced right through.
  • Punctured wound – made by a pointed or spiked instrument.

Jesus suffered all these wounds. Yes, Jesus suffered real physical pain. But what Jesus suffered physically by itself does not give the power to the cross. We must add with it the spiritual pain and suffering that Jesus endured on the cross. This is what made Jesus’ death on the cross different than any other. – Bill Lobbs

I simply argue that the cross be raised again
at the center of the market place
as well as the steeple of the church,
I am recovering the claim that
Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles
but on a cross between two thieves;
on a town garbage heap;
at a crossroad of politics so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title
in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek…
and at the kind of place where cynics talk smut,
and thieves curse and soldiers gamble.
Because that is where He died, and that is what He died about
and that is where Christ’s followers ought to be,
and what church people ought to be about. – George MacLeod

When onlookers sneered, “He saved others; he cannot save himself,” they could not see that only because he had never thought of saving himself could anybody be saved at all. And those who shouted, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross” could not see that it was precisely because he was the Son of God that he would not come down from the cross. – Peter Storey, Listening at Golgotha

O Lord, holy Father, show us what kind of man it is who is hanging for our sakes on the cross, whose suffering causes the rocks themselves to crack and crumble with compassion, whose death brings the dead back to life. Let my heart crack and crumble at the sight of him. Let my soul break apart with compassion for his suffering. Let it be shattered with grief at my sins for which he dies. And finally let is be softened with devoted love for him. – Bonaventura

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For more quotes and scriptures on Christ’s broken body, click here

For quote and scriptures on The Wounds of Christ, click here

For another devotion and original hymn text entitled Tell Me Dear Tree, click here

For another devotion and original poem entitled The Taste of Death, click here

For another devotion and original poem entitled You Understand my Pain, click here

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For more information on the art, scripture translations and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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