The Hope of Heartbreak

“Why shouldn’t we experience heartbreak? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son… He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, as if to say, ‘enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.’ If God can accomplish His purposes in this world through a broken heart, then why not thank Him for breaking yours?”
-“My Utmost for His Highest,” Oswald Chambers

Jesus was brokenhearted because He knew about the suffering that was coming to Him. It pained Him to be separated from His Father. In Matthew 26:38, Jesus tells His disciples that “His soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” In verse 39 He prays, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Jesus prayed three times in the Garden of Gethsemane. Each time He asked for the “cup of suffering to be taken” but He always asked for God’s will to be done, not his.

In verse 33 of Mark 14, John Mark writes, “He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed.” When we come before God in prayer we must pour out our hearts to Him. “Trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8). In Luke 22:39 Jesus and His disciples travel to the Mount of Olives to an olive grove called Gethsemane, which means “oil press.” An oil press “uses friction and continuous pressure from the screw drives to move and compress the seed material.” In Luke 22:44, Jesus prays “more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” Just as the olives were continuously pressured to produce the olive oil, Jesus was feeling the pressure of the pain that He would have to endure, producing His blood. Just as olive oil was used to anoint those in need of healing, Jesus’ blood would be used to heal.

When Jesus was crucified, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Matthew 27:46) He wasn’t doubting God. His heart was broken. He was separated from His Father because He took on our sin, our humanity. In Gethsemane, Jesus’ heart was broken and His anguish was so great because He knew of the impending separation from His Father. Even though he knew it would be temporary, He loved Him so much. He knew His purpose and what needed to be done. He was still focused on His Father and our freedom.

In John 19:11 Jesus says to Pilate, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” Jesus never forgot Who His Father was. He never denied His identity in Christ or the power of His Father. He never sinned. Even when His heart and His body were broken, He never lost sight of the greater purpose that God had given Him. In John 19:30 Jesus says, “It is finished!” Finished means “paid in full.” Jesus paid our debt once and for all. Where do we lose our sensitivity to His sacrifice? When do we forget the hope that we have because of God’s broken heart? When Jesus’ heart was broken, He had to rely fully on the faithfulness of His Father. A broken heart doesn’t have to mean defeat. It can mean strength through the blood of Christ!

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