Doors to a Better Place

  • Oct. 30, 2017
  • #9261

Different from every other religion, Christianity embraced defeat to achieve victory. 

Door to a Better Place

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a great missionary story.

It was back in the early 1900s; Stan Jones served as a missionary in India. After years serving on the field, he slowly began to see how the cross of Christ was making a big change in the lives of Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. Mostly, it was very broken people who came to Jesus out of these religions. Rejected and ruined as outcasts, each one embraced Christ as his only hope. They found no hope in those other religions. And it is what led Stan Jones to say that neither Hindu karma, nor Muslim kismet nor Buddhist nirvana could bring about change in a person’s life. But the cross, he said, is different. He wrote this, he said:

“The cross never knows defeat, for it is itself Defeat, and you cannot defeat that which is already defeated. You cannot break Brokenness. The cross starts with defeat and accepts dying as a way of living. But in that very attitude it finds its victory.”

Wow, do I love that. For the cross is indeed a place of brokenness, and you cannot break him who is already broken. You cannot defeat the one who has laid down his life, who gives it up of his own free accord. It’s why you never hear it said that Jesus was killed on the cross. No, He was not killed; no one took his life; He laid down his life. And therein lies the victory—He embraced death so that He could redeem out of it new life. The cross shows you how to die as a way of living. This is what attracted those broken people in India. This is what made them see that they could have a home, a new life, and a better life in Christ.

The good news is you don’t have to go to India to lay down your brokenness, to lay down your sin, or your pride, and your wounds, at the foot of the cross. Vance Havner once put it this way. He said:

"God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop; it takes broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, and broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume.”

Well, friend, I don’t know what brokenness you’re dealing with right now. I’m sure you are, it’s always something. With me, it’s always my broken neck and the way my wheelchair keeps me desperately needy of the Lord. But for you, it could be a broken home or a broken heart, wounded and in need of healing. Well, please know that brokenness is always, always the best pathway—perhaps the only true pathway—to blessing. Yes, it is a hard path, and there are no shortcuts down the arduous, difficult, blood-stained path to Calvary. But when you arrive at the cross, you know you’ve come to the place of no, not just defeat, you’ve come to the place of life and blessing and hope. Just like those believers in India who came to Christ under the ministry of Stan Jones.

And Jesus Christ has paved the way on that hard but happy path. He has transformed it into a highway of happiness for those who embrace the man of sorrows acquainted with not only our grief, but our brokenness. Oh, how amazing is our Lord and Savior, that the God of life should conquer death by embracing it. That He should destroy the power of sin by letting it destroy Him. How awesome! Jesus came to live and die so that we might die and live. After all, if you’ve died to self, what else could possibly harm you? If you’re broken, what else could possibly break you? It’s a powerful lesson from your Savior.

© Joni and Friends

 

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