“My Body Broken for You” acrylic on canvas 16″x20″ © by Donna Gonzalez
I had been waiting on the Lord to give me inspiration in painting another prophetic artwork. Usually it comes after prayer, during praise and worship or like Sunday as a thought.
This past Sunday at church while discussing with another Christian about the uniqueness of similar events occurring like bookends in Jesus’ birth and death/resurrection a vivid image occurred in my mind; and I knew it as an answer to prayer.
“My Body Broken for You” is that idea.
Praise God! I’m so excited to share with you this painting!
A bit of background. During a Passover meal there is a plate of matzah on the table. It looks like this:
Curtesy PublicDomainPictures – Pesach Matza
Three matzah breads are wrapped together and placed on the table. There are various explanations for these three, some rabbis call these three a unity of the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Among Christians and Messianic Jews the three represent the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, where the middle matzah represents Jesus.
In the matzah we can see a picture of Messiah, notice that it is striped…
“But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
And that it is pierced…
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” Zechariah 12:10
That vivid image was this…what jarring emotion and feeling Jesus must have had when taking that middle matzah, seeing the holes and stripes, knowing the true meaning of it and having it broken in His hands?
The Jews of the Old Testament for a thousand years earlier and His disciples knew the matzah pertained only to the story of the children of Israel who fled Egypt so quickly they had no time to wait for their dough to rise; instead they quickly made unleavened bread and allowed the hot desert sun to bake it flat. Scripture teaches that leaven symbolizes sin.
6 “Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” I Corinthians 5:6-7
That night Jesus explained to His disciples the unleavened matzah in the New Covenant now represents His sinless body. In a few short hours His body would be marked with scourging and pierced as the bread He held in His hands. Did they fully comprehend that?
What if Jesus after having given thanks to His Father … intending only to gently break the bread neatly into two identical halves, instead to His shock it shatters violently into many pieces!
What if with tears in His eyes picking up pieces of broken bread hands it to His disciples saying: “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Would He have been cut to the core by the striking confirmation from His Father of the savage brutality that would happen to His body to redeem mankind? Of course they both planned it in eternity past…but oh how jarring when that hour becomes reality!
What if the Father purposely allowed the bread to fragment with such ferocity as to demonstrate a powerful visualization to everyone around of what Jesus had just said? Did the disciples get that?
The bible never tells us if Jesus’ broke the bread neatly in two perfect halves. Tradition and artists have always portrayed it as so as it’s only aesthetically pleasing to the viewer…. and to do so otherwise is …well not kosher! [forgive the pun!]
I’m reminded of how before He ever felt the cold rusted iron spikes pounded into His hands and feet, before ever a cat’o nine tails sliced and tore His back into ribbons, His heart had been crushed by the sins of His people.
“Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.” Ezekiel 6:9
Then His heart, now His body.
I captured a moment in time, a visual aid for 21st century disciples of Christ, depicting the deafening crack representing the intensity of Jesus being crushed for our wickedness. The wine that was poured into His cup has spilled upon the tablecloth, the wrinkle in the tablecloth reminds us of His greatest accomplishment.
Jesus was willing to be broken for us, so that we may be completely whole, healed…..what a wonderful Savior!
May this post encourage you in your walk with Jesus Christ!