Christian life

How Can God Save The Crushed In Spirit?

Peace seems so simple, doesn’t it. But why is peace so hard to find?

In this series on studying anxiety in the Bible, we have covered:

  • how anxiety affects every part of our life
  • how anxiety is crippling
  • how sin often makes us anxious, and that anxiety by itself isn’t sin, as Christ experienced anxiety, too, but anxiety could be reflective of sin in our life

We left off discussing how not all anxiety is bad. Such as godly sorrow, which leads to repentance. I would like to continue this thought because in understanding brokenness we can ultimately understand peace, specifically God’s peace.

(ESV) Psalm 94:19, ”When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”
(ESV) 1 Peter 1:07, ”casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Anxiety can make us broken. It can be a ruling force. However, there is something about brokenness that God can use. Why?

In the same way, anxiety affects our inner person, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual life, brokenness affects us similarly. We can be broken and experience anxiety. But we do not have to be consumed by anxiety. Remember, the ultimate goal of anxiety is death. To be so consumed, feel so helpless and hopeless, that we desire the end.

There are benefits of brokenness. Christians are often refined during trials and tribulation. Being molded into becoming more Christ-like is not typically a simple process. We must ”break away” from the desires of the flesh.

God Accepts A Sacrifice Of A Broken Spirit

(ESV) Psalm 51:17, ”The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

The Hebrew for broken in this verse can mean: Strong’s Hebrew 7665

-Break in pieces
-Rend violently
-Crushed
-Quench
-To be broken
-Be maimed
-Bring to birth
-To shatter

The Hebrew for spirit in this verse can mean: Strong’s Hebrew 7307

-Breath, life
-Courage
-Temper
-Impatience, patience
-Troubled, bitter, not content
-Unaccountable, uncontrollable
-Impulse
-Sorrow, trouble
-Seat or organ of mental acts
-Especially of moral character

If something is broken, it needs built up again. Brokenness needs a transformation. When the Hebrew for “broken” can mean “bring to birth,” that’s a beautiful picture of the Gospel. Brokenness needs hope. Brokenness needs a peace of mind. People who are broken need to keep their gaze on the path that is steady.

Often times, brokenness can force us to look beyond our current troubles. For brief moments, it can help us step back, and wonder why. We have the choice to choose to remain in the state of brokenness and all the negativity that comes with it, or we can choose to stand while broken. We can choose hope. We can choose peace.

Why Would God Delight In A Broken Sacrifice?

Well, it first help to acknowledge that the ultimate broken sacrifice already took our place. The atonement sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross.

(ESV) Isaiah 53:05, ”But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

Christ was crushed for our sins. The chastisement (punishment) that brought us peace, this is referring to the wrath of God. The wages of sin is death, and therefore, the consequence is the wrath of God, our just punishment. Christ willingly took this punishment upon Himself, so that all who put their faith in Him would not have to.

Sinners cannot satisfy the cost of sin because sinners do not have clean hands. Only the righteousness of Christ, the One who was sinless, could satisfy (atone) God’s wrath for our sin.

Christ’s sacrifice reconciles us to God because Jesus was, is, and will forever be God. The Creator paid the cost for the creation.

(ESV) John 14:06, ”Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The word “crushed” in Isaiah 53 verse 5 is Hebrews 1792 which can mean:

Contrite – meaning feeling sorrowful over sin, or repentant
-Become contrite
-Crush – To squeeze out of shape, to grind to small bits, to surpress or overwhelm by pressure or weight, to subdue (conquer)
-Oppressed
To crush by abuse of power or authority, to be a burden to mentally or spiritually

Christ Was Crushed For Our Sakes

We absolutely see how Christ was crushed, in multiple ways. In the garden, we saw Christ become exceedingly sorrowful.

(ESV) Matthew 26:38, ”Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”

Christ was oppressed because He was falsely spoken against and persecuted. The Pharisees used their power and influence to get Christ sentenced to death.

Yet, so much beyond this is the spiritual anguish He experienced on our behalf. We do not have words for what He experienced. We only have glimpses of what it meant for Him to take our sin and the consequence of our sin.

Which brings us back to this verse.

(ESV) Psalm 51:17, ”The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

What Kind Of Broken Spirit Does God Delight Over?

The Lord delights in a broken spirit, one that is repentant and sorrowful over sin. This again connects to godly sorrow. Perhaps, now we have a better understanding of what God’s word means when He says:

(ESV) Psalm 34:18, ”The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Jesus experienced sorrow, anxiety, and so much more than any of us ever will. And we praise the Lord that we do not have to! He understands grief in a way we cannot, which means He understands our grief and our pain. Jesus honestly and truly understands and He cares when we hurt.

He is our Hope because though He was persecuted and oppressed, and though He did die an excruciating death on our behalf, He conquered those who tried to conquer Him. But so much more importantly, He conquered death, sin itself. How did He do this? Through resurrecting, Jesus conquered death. God is not a God of the dead, but the living! (If you would like to see a cross-reference to this phrase, check out my recent post on Inside Cup- Have You Not Read- Sarcasm In The Bible)

It is because of Jesus we can experience a transformation in our brokenness. It is because of the Savior we can find a strength, a hope, and peace during our brokenness. Even while broken, our eyes can be set on LIFE and not death!

So, how can God save the crushed in spirit? Well, Jesus was crushed for our sakes. Christ alone transforms us, for all who put their faith in Him. Sin breaks us, but we now become sorrowful over sin. Trials and tribulations can break us. God will use brokenness as a way to refine us, convict us, and help us grow.

(ESV) 2 Corinthians 12:10, ”For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I’m not done, but there is too much goodness to cram into one post. Next time, we will be focusing on the peace of God. 🙂

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