You see, the Jesus I serve has come to grab up the broken pieces and the fragments. Ask yourself this question, are you broken? You already know the answer. Have your children turned on you, has your family turned on you, have your friends turned on you, has your bank account turned on you, has your health turned on you? Have the people closest to you turned on you? Are you a man that loved a woman that said, I don’t love you anymore? Are you a person that wonders, how will I pick up the pieces, the fragments of my life, I am broken? Are you a person that had gotten to the bottom of life and you say there is nothing left for me?
If you are that person, and you feel like a piece of hard bread thrown away, I am writing to tell you that God specializes in brokenness, and He never forgets the fragments. He has never given up on the broken pieces. You see, that is the nature of God. That is why in John 15:15, Jesus is talking to His closest friends, His disciples. These are the men who have traveled with Him all over to hear Him preach the gospel. They have seen Him lay hands on the sick and have them recover; they have seen Him cast out devils. He is looking at them saying, “I don’t want to call you my slaves. I want to call you my friends.” The word friend there in the Greek is PHILOS; it means those with whom you are kind and those with whom you communicated. The Son of God wanted to be so close to humanity that he says I don’t want a slave relationship; I want a friendship.
The problem in most churches today is we are preaching a slave relationship, and we are not preaching a friendship relationship with the creator. You see, everything with God is predicated on the principle of sowing and reaping. When God wanted to redeem humanity, He used the seed of His Son. God couldn’t use an earthly man because without the shedding of blood the Bible tells us, there is no remission of sin. There cannot be forgiveness without the shedding of blood. Man’s blood was not strong enough to redeem men. So, God planted a seed in a woman and said to His Son Jesus who is all God, the Bible tells us, in the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the same was in the beginning with God. He said, Jesus, go down and redeem my people. Jesus took off His gown of deity, He took off His gown of being 100% God in and of Himself, He didn’t have to, but He stepped outside of the veil of glory and into the womb of a woman and broke through and stepped up out of her loins born a baby in a manger.
Jesus said, I am here, I have come to earth to redeem man. He lived on this earth for thirty years, growing in the nurturing and the admonition of the Lord. His public ministry saw Him display God’s power, and God’s might all over the known world. They watched the laying on of His hands and the speaking of the Word change lives. This Jesus that the world will tell you was not God, I am here to tell you He is either a lunatic and a liar, or He is the Lord. The Bible says, only a fool will say in his heart that there is no God.
Jesus then, after three years of ministering and preaching the gospel, couldn’t stand it anymore. Religious people hated Him. My friend, if you say I can’t become a Christian because I don’t know what my family is going to say about me or do to me, or, I can’t sell out to God because you don’t know my family. I know the damage of what religious families can do to people lives. I am telling you that Jesus is alive and well and He is here to seek and save those who are lost. Religious people couldn’t stand it anymore, so they used the religious rules. You see, religious people and the devil are legalists. They are lawyers; they will use the word and the laws to try to ensnare you.
Jesus Himself performed a miracle on a woman and saved her life. The religious people were not angry that He saved and delivered an unrighteous woman; they were just mad that He did it on the Sabbath because that was the day that you were supposed to have off. Religious people will follow the rules. God would say, No, If I’ve got to change the rules, I’m going to change the rules.
Jesus was put on trial; He would not open His mouth and defend Himself. That is one problem some of you get into, people talk about you, say things about you, and you feel like you should defend yourself. Keep your mouth shut, let God do it; let other people do it. It drives people crazy when I won’t defend myself. I don’t need to. So, they found Jesus guilty, and they took him to Pilate. Pilate’s wife was a believer and Pilate did not want to sentence him to death on the cross, but you see, Pilate was an unwilling conspirator in this because this had been formed before there were even angels, God knew this was going to happen. Pilate thought he had a way of not sending an innocent man to death; the Jewish law said he could release a prisoner, take Jesus captive, or let him go. Pilate, thinking like a human being and not a believer, said; “Do you want Barabbas, the serial killer, or do you want Jesus crucified?” He was certain in his mind they would take Barabbas to be crucified and let this innocent man go, but religion had gripped them.
I will tell you this; you have not met a person more fierce, more vile, more filthy, and meaner than a religious person, trust me. I avoid them like the plague. That is why it is better when you build a church to build it with unsaved people; you won’t bring that religious spirit in. That is the problem with so many people. They have been turned away from God by religious people. So, Jesus is sentenced, and before being crucified, He is whipped with a cat of nine tails. The law says you are only allowed to be beaten forty times because the cat of nine tails is so vicious that they say anything over forty is unfair. Because they are religious, they always stop at thirty-nine in case they miscounted. For those of you who don’t know, a cat of nine tails is similar to a wooden baseball bat, but on the end of it are several long strips of leather and tied at the end of the leather would be metal, glass, or sharp bone. The person that was being flogged would be tied by his feet and his wrists around a jagged cedar tree. It was jagged so as they writhed in pain they would get poked from the bottom of their feet up to the top of their head by shards of wood that would be shoved into their body. You have had a sliver, but I’m talking about pieces of wood that are six to eight inches long. The Jewish philosopher who is not a Christian, Joseph wrote about what it was like and how it had piercing needles put into your body. They would take the cat of nine tails and swing it, and it would go around the tree that the person was tied to and lock into the flesh of the person. It would rip out hair, eyeballs, flesh, and it would rip out the bone. The cat of nine tails was the most vicious of the vicious. It would get stuck into the flesh, and then they would pull it out, and as they pulled, it would take out chunks of flesh. When he wrote about this, he said if a mother was not standing there watching her child be whipped, that he would be unrecognizable to her after thirty-nine whips. You could look in and see the heart beating. You could see into the body as the lungs go in and out with each breath.
Does this sound like a God that came to earth when He didn’t have to because He didn’t love you? Does this sound like a God that came to earth simply because His daddy asked Him or because He loves you? I will tell you right now there is no one reading this book that I would send my son to give his life for, not one.
After the beating of the cat of nine tails, they take Jesus over, and they grab a tree that we would call a Juniper, it’s not a Juniper, but it was similar. It had six-inch thorns, and they wrapped it like a crown because Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the King. These thorns in Jesus’ day were used as nails, and one would take a hammer to put them into something. They pounded this crown of thorns into Jesus’ head. Blood poured out of his head. You could see his lungs, you could see his heart, his body looked like hamburger, and then they shoved a crown of thorns into His head. Does this sound like a God that came because He didn’t love you? Then they trudged Jesus up the mountain making Him carry His cross.
Take your right hand, then take your left thumb and pointer finger and feel between your wrist and where your wrist meets your hand, you will feel a spot right there, that is where the nails were driven into Jesus’ hand. The same is where the nails were driven into His feet. The Bible says that when Jesus went to the cross, not even one bone was broken. So, even with the cat of nine tails ripping the flesh off His body, no bone was broken. They put the nails there so when you were put on the cross, you would have to push up on your feet and your hands to get a breath. Because of the cat of nine tails, all the muscles had been removed, so, the only way you could breathe as your ribs and everything contracted around your lungs was to pull up. But each time you pull up, you were separating your hands from your arms and your feet from your legs. It was gruesomely painful to breathe, but your human reaction is whether you wanted to or not, you couldn’t just hang there and die. Your human reaction is to pull up because you had to have breath.
Jesus hung on that cross and after a while, because you have no muscle, your pericardium, which is the sac around your heart, begins to fill with water. Jesus is crying out because it is the middle of the day; it is warm. His body can no longer sweat. He has lost so much blood that He is deeply thirsty. He calls out, and He asks for water, and they give Him vinegar. It touches His lips, and it falls off because it is putrid to His body and the vinegar stings His body as it runs down. They take a sword and go between two ribs because remember no bone was broken and pierced His heart and water comes flowing out because the pericardium releases a gallon and a half of water that was surrounding His heart. Now Jesus is drowning.
At that moment, there are two criminals one on His right, one on His left, both guilty of crimes. The first one says, if you’re the Savior, save yourself. He begins to mock Him. The other one says to him, stop, stop, stop, we are getting the punishment we deserve, but not this Man. Jesus, in all of His magnificence, says, “Today I will see you in Paradise.” Even at His worse moment, when He had every weight of the world, the sin of every human being, both before the cross and after the cross, is now on Jesus. He can feel the literal weight of the world upon His shoulders. Every sin that would ever be committed both with you and with me is on Jesus, pinned to that cross at that moment. But even in Jesus’ worst moment, when He could have been having a pity party because He didn’t deserve to be there, He turned to the robber and said, “Today I will see you in Paradise.”
Jesus died. He died, and He went to hell. Did you know Jesus is the first and only person that has been sent to hell by God? The first and only. Ever since then, my friends, people have sent themselves. I want you to know if you die and you go to hell it is because you choose it. Are you willing to choose hell? Moms, are you willing to live a life that will send you to hell? Because your children will follow you there. Fathers, are you willing to live a life that will send you to hell? Because your wife and children will follow you there. Young people, are you willing to die and go to hell and let your momma and daddy know they will never see you again? I ask you this question, what is your choice?
You see, Jesus came for the fragments, for the broken pieces. The devil is a liar. He is telling people that God does not want you, need you, or can’t use you. I’m here to tell you that the devil is a liar because Jesus picks up fragments, broken pieces, broken people, and puts them back together. Jesus spent three days in hell where He was held captive, where the devil tortured Him. Every punishment of hell. Complete separation from His Father. Can you imagine the feelings Jesus had to fight as the devil told Him, “You didn’t have to come here, you’re a fool.” You see, even amid His suffering and pain, Jesus knew something the devil didn’t. Jesus knew it was only three days. It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming! His body was rotting in a tomb, it was Saturday, but Sunday is coming.
I am here to tell you that every person who has ever lied about you talked about you, every devil that has told you God didn’t want you, every single thing you have done which made you feel like a broken piece, a fragment; I’m here to tell you there is something they don’t know that Jesus does. You need to know that it may be Saturday, but Sunday is coming. What happened on that third day? You see, too many times in churches we have crosses, we should all have an empty tomb because the empty tomb is what makes the cross profitable. The cross did nothing for humanity without the empty tomb. When Sunday rolled around, Jesus who was stuck in the pit of hell, began to rise on his knees and the devil said, I want you to lay down, and Jesus looked at him and said, devil, you’re a liar. The devil asked Him, what are you doing? He said you couldn’t get up, I killed you, and Jesus said, devil, it has been prophesied that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Then Jesus stepped out of that sinful body, and He grabbed up for Him every righteous believer before and every righteous believer who would be there in the future to accept Him, and He ripped open the veil of the temple, and Jesus stepped foot out of hell. He brought captivity captive so that every man, woman, boy, and the girl could live their lives, knowing that they would spend eternity in heaven. Jesus is no longer dead; He is alive! This body of Jesus no longer looks like a hamburger. His body is whole; you can no longer see a beating heart or contracting lungs. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father ever making intercession for us and calling out our name to the Father, knowing that today is the day of salvation.
Jesus is saying the same thing to you that He said to His disciples in John 15:15, “Henceforth I no longer want to call you my servants, I want to call you my friend.” The cry of Jesus to every unbeliever is; I’ve paid for your fragments, for your broken pieces, now let Me give you peace and mercy that will follow you all the days of your life. Allow Me and you to not have religion, but a relationship, a friendship.
I too am a person who has had to deal with brokenness, with loss, and pain. I tell you it’s about friendship. Are you reading this and saying I’ve never gotten my life right with God? Are you saying, I too am broken? Today is your day. Don’t let the devil lie to you. God is begging you. Are you willing to admit you are a broken piece, a fragment, are you ready to show the devil that you don’t care what he thinks? The Bible says if you confess Me before men, then I will confess you before the Father. Jesus is calling your name to His Father. He wants to say your name to the Father that you just got saved.
Email me right now if you are ready to give your life to Christ and we will help you: Hondo@HondoCarpenter.com