Broken to Pieces
“Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” (Luke 20:18)
When we fall on Jesus as our only hope of salvation, with a broken and contrite heart–completely remorseful over our sin and hopeless condition–in other words “broken to pieces”–God will welcome us!
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
“Has that breaking of my independence come? All the rest is religious fraud. The one point to decide is–will I give up? Will I surrender to Jesus Christ, placing no conditions whatsoever as to how the brokenness will come? I must be broken from my own understanding of myself. When I reach that point, immediately the reality of the supernatural identification with Jesus Christ takes place. And the witness of the Spirit of God is unmistakable–‘I have been crucified with Christ.’” (Oswald Chambers)
It is a crushing blow to come face to face with the reality of our own depravity. The more that we grow in Christlikeness, the more aware of our sinful nature we become.
And it is when we approach God’s throne full of ourselves, full of our works, full of self-righteousness, full of our arrogance, full of our own self-importance, and full of our own ability to reconcile ourselves to a holy God, that we are crushed. Eventually, when face to face with God’s pure holiness and glorious majesty, it will be supremely evident to those who have chosen not to follow our Savior that neither their arrogance nor their wealth will be able to save them.
We are told by the prophet Isaiah:
Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. So man will be brought low and mankind humbled–do not forgive them. Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled). (Isaiah 2:7-12)
The book of Hebrews explains:
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Take It to Heart
I am a religious fraud if I depend upon by own sense of righteousness and abilities to reconcile myself to a holy God. It is only through the blood of Jesus that I am washed and made clean of my sins.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples. Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. (Isaiah 55:1-7)
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:5-10)