The Prisoner’s Hope Ministry
"There was a woman that was a sinner who came to Jesus with an alabaster jar
full of very expensive perfume. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus' head and feet out of love for Him. When she did this, the fragrance filled the room. Some of the disciples were indignant and complained about this, saying it was a waste of good perfume. They only saw the money that could have been made by selling the unbroken jar of perfume, saying that the money from the sale of the perfume could have been given to the poor. Jesus responded saying that His disciples would always have the poor with them, and they could do good to the poor anytime. But they would not always have Him among them. He said that what she did was good. Moreover: none understood that what she was doing was actually anointing his body beforehand for the burial." (Mark 14:3-9)
What a beautiful illustration of brokenness. This woman literally broke a box of perfume that was worth about a year's earnings, based upon the economy of the day. Plain and simple, this was no doubt her precious possession. Yet, how appropriate that the perfume used in her profession as a prostitute would become the token of her profession of faith. Breaking that bottle was symbolic of breaking from her past. What a beautiful sight this must have been, to watch her pour it out upon Jesus' feet. No more secrets, no more shame. Had she not broken the jar, the fragrance would not have come forth. Funny how others could only see the value of the box while it was whole. Yet Jesus saw the value of it when it was broken. What a metaphor for our own lives. Many can only see how they could be valuable if they were whole, but the Lord appreciates the love and beautiful fragrance that flows from our lives when we are broken.
One of the most difficult passages in the New Testament to joyfully embrace is voiced by Jesus Himself, saying: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls unto the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal." (Joh 12:24-25). In order for any seed to bear fruit, it has to go down beneath the ground (much like a grave) into that dark place and die. Its hard outer shell has to crack open, so that the life that God has placed within it can come forth and break through the soil to bear fruit. That's the way our lives are as well.
“He Who Falls on This Stone Will Be Broken”
Jesus Himself said that He is the Chief Cornerstone, "And he who falls on this Stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." (Matt. 21:44). There are two kinds of people in life. There are those who reject the Stone and it falls on them. And there are those who fall on this Stone and build their lives on it. The Stone falls on those who reject it, and it crushes them into fine dust. As Solomon wrote: “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.” (Pro 29:1). On the other hand, those who fall on the Stone are broken to pieces. Pieces which become extremely valuable, and work towards wholeness.
We know well that the Lord never does some arbitrary work. He doesn’t just break us and leave us. And it is imperative that we become great Heralds of this same truth. He helps us and heals us, yet re-assembles us in a very different fashion. “He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.” (Psa 147:3) While it may be painful, the Lord is not far away at all, but near to the broken: “The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” (Psa 34:17-19).
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he wrote about our present sufferings and the pain it brings. Yet he went on to assure us that God will not forsake us. He will not abandon us in the midst of our suffering. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28). Regardless of how things may appear, He fulfills His Word and promises. Oftentimes, that fulfillment is our test of trust and faith. “Blessed is he that is not offended because of me…"
Who Shall Separate Us from the Love Of Christ?
When we experience brokenness, the first question men raise is: “Does God even love me?” From there, the inevitable affixed thought becomes: “God, don’t you care what I’m going through?” As Heralds, our message is liberating: (Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free). And what more does the Word say? “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom 8:31-35).
The message is clear dear brothers and sisters. He is more than our circumstances, Covid-19, empty shelves or difficult times. He is for us and is managing life's circumstances to bring men unto Him, to refine His Bride, the Church and to build anew, that which has been broken. In just a few days we will celebrate one of the greatest days history has ever witnessed, Passover and the Resurrection of our Risen King, Jesus. Let's fix our eyes upon the One who is above all and be the Herald that proclaims Victory when others see defeat.
In His Grace….