Unsafe Prayers – Broken
June 12, 2016
We all know how frustrating it is when something we cherish is broken. Whether it’s a child’s favorite toy, a cherished item in our home, an everyday object like a garage door, a plate, a broken window, all the way to broken bones – – – broken relationships and broken hearts.
We don’t like broken things. Super glue and duct tape can’t fix everything! Well, today, we’re going to talk about what it means to be broken – – – to do that we’re going to look at a passage from Matthew 26, talk about what it means to be broken, then spend some time considering what it means in our lives.
We’re in the final 2 weeks of our series on prayer. Last week we began looking at prayers which are unsafe. We looked at David’s prayer in Psalm 139, as he asked God to search his heart.
As difficult as last week’s might be, because it’s pretty vulnerable to ask God to search our hearts, today we’re going to look at a prayer we may not want to pray. It’s not safe and comfortable. It may not feel good praying it. But, I’m going to ask you to consider what it means to be broken . . . and even to make that our prayer.
I want you to consider praying a very unsafe prayer. Not all of you will. You don’t have to pray this, but this very well may change your life and relationship with God.
Let’s get into the meat of the message. Jesus was gathered with His closest friends, the disciples. They’re eating together – – Jesus knows this is His last meal. The disciples still don’t have a clue as to what’s going to unfold later that night. Jesus knows this is going to be very painful, shameful and humiliating. He’s also in the process of saying good-bye to men He has come to deeply love. He’s going to give His life on the cross. We now come to Matthew 26:26-28 ~
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you,
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus said what about His body and blood?
This is my body – – – – BROKEN for you!
This is my blood – – – – POURED OUT for you.
His body is broken and His blood is poured out. It’s a sacrifice for many. My body broken for you. My blood poured out for you.
Understand the Greek for the word poured out means to gush out, liberally shed, greedily spilled. It’s not the image of a few drops. It’s an image of all of His blood, not a token donation, but everything poured out – – – given for many.
Now, hold onto that thought – – – Just prior to that a little earlier in Matthew 26, we read this story – –
6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,
7 a woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as He reclined at table.
8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?
Let’s set the stage in this story – – – – Think about it – – where was Jesus? He’s in the home of Simon the leper. How’s that for a nickname? Who would want to be seen at a leper’s house? Jesus would! He’s hanging out with sinners. Some believe this woman is a prostitute. In all honesty, we don’t really know who she is. All we know is that this woman took a years worth of wages and broke it open and poured it on Jesus.
Somewhere along the way, this woman found she was valued, respected and honored by Jesus. She experienced the power of God’s love, through Jesus. Maybe it was the first time she felt loved. It transformed her and she wanted to worship Jesus in the most sacrificial way she could imagine. Her extravagant act of worship totally confused everyone in this story, except Jesus.
Imagine one year’s worth of income – – – you put that amount in a bottle and you pour it out on someone. Gone! In a flash – – – gone!
She’s got this incredibly expensive perfume and she breaks it open and pours it over Jesus head!
Some people just freaked out. They were furious. How could she do that? Why would she do that? Maybe put a drop or two on His head, but not the entire bottle!
BUT – – – – This was an act of worship which was more extravagant than you can imagine. Essentially, she was saying, I’m giving you my whole life. I’m giving you the most valuable possession I have. This represents my past and my future.
In other words, I’m leaving my past life. I’m giving my future source of income and my life savings away. Jesus, you loved me and you changed me – – – so I will break open the most valuable possession I have. You get all of it, not a donation or token drop or two, but all of me is given in this perfume.
My jar is broken in an act of worship and I pour it all out because I’m giving you everything I am and everything that I have. Broken and poured.
Let’s go back to the Last Supper. Luke was there too. He reported on what Jesus did, but he said something Mark didn’t.
In Luke 22:19 we read ~ 19 And Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Luke said basically the same thing, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, gave it to them saying, “This is my body given for you.” Then, what did He say? He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Do this in remembrance of me. What is this? Most of us would agree that as followers of Jesus, we gather together and we take the Lord’s Supper. We take bread and we take the cup and we do this in remembrance of Him. We celebrate the death and the resurrection of Jesus. Do this in remembrance of me!
So, when we come to communion, do we go through the motions, or is there more to communion? Could it be that when Jesus said, “DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME” – – – – just as Jesus was broken and was poured out, just as this woman broke open her bottle and poured it on Jesus – – – –
– – – maybe the call in our lives should lead us to do the same as well. Not just the ritual – – – but live as He lived. God calls us to live as Jesus lived and to love as He loved. We’re to die to ourselves daily so that we can live for His glory.
When the Gospel says to do this, what if perhaps, Jesus was saying, “Don’t just do an act to remember but may you also be broken and poured out in the same way.” Even as Paul said in Philippians 2:17 that “I’m poured out like a drink offering.” Broken and poured.
As we consider the story of the woman who broke her bottle and poured her perfume over Jesus, and as we consider Jesus, broken and poured out for you and I – – – –
Could it be that we too are called to be broken and poured out in the name of Jesus?
Could that be our prayer? Could that be your prayer? Lord, what is it I need to be broken from? How can my spirit be poured out because of You?
In a moment we are going to have communion. I’m not going to say much, the Deacons are not going to pray, when you receive the bread – – – hold it and say your personal prayer over it. Take and eat when you are ready – – –
When you receive the cup, do the same, pray – – – hold it and when you’re ready – – – – drink it.
The Deacons are going to come forward and pass out the bread, then they are going to pass out the cup. There will be silence – – – consider what God is calling you to be broken of. How can your life be like Paul’s as he referred to himself in Philippians 2:17 as being poured out for God.
How can we imitate Paul? How can we imitate Christ?
This could be the most dangerous prayer you pray! If you’re serious, your life may be forever different. It’s not a safe prayer! But it could be the most liberating prayer you will ever pray!
As you consider what you need to be BROKEN of – – –
Maybe it’s – –
Pride / Ego
Jealousy and Envy
Anger / bitterness
You name it, it’s out there.
As you consider what you need to POUR OUT – – – –
How can you give away more of yourself?
What can you do which is EXTRAVAGANT?
We always ask God to pour out to give to us.
What can we do to give back to Him?
Maybe it’s – –
A need to get involved in church
to serve – you don’t serve, but need to
to give financially – others will give, I don’t need to
to read the Bible
to help others
to give up your anger and bitterness