Easter: the hope of shattered perfection
Life is hard. If you have lived past the age of ten, I’m sure that this is something that you’re familiar with. It gets messy and complicated sometimes. There are failures you have to take responsible for, even if they aren’t your own. Then ‘adulting’ hits a few years later and we are never ready for it. There are clothes to be cleaned and budgets to be kept. If you have ever had a relationship to navigate – whether mother, friend or significant other – I’m sure you would agree that life is never perfect.
But we do live in a world full of ideals and principles. The power of the media in the last two years alone has raised humanitarian concerns with alarming effectiveness. Our generation is forming incredibly strong convictions about what life should be like – what freedoms we should have, how people should be treated and what systems should change.
On top of that there is the incredibly accessible entertainment industry forming our perceptions and expectations of life. Instagram shows us what the perfect holiday should look like, Hollywood portrays the perfect relationship, Netflix documentaries define our convictions and online news – whether fake or not – whips up the emotional storm juxtaposing injustice with all of this idealism.
“What has this got to do with Easter?” you may ask. For me, it is the crucial hinge on which our desire for perfection and our obvious imperfection meet. Easter is the crucial moment that connects the reality of a broken, lost, unstable and bitter world with the incredible perfection of God and Heaven.
I’m not going to lie, growing up my life was hard. My mom is blind, so I took on emotional responsibilities from a very young age because I thought it was my duty. Finances were always rough. I was sexually abused as a young boy. Bullying at school broke me. I struggled with a debilitating pornography addiction for years. I watched my dad go through burnout and a mental breakdown. Insecurity robbed me of most friendships. Above blindness, I had to navigate my mom having cancer as well. Life has been far from perfect. But none of these things has killed or swayed my inner desire for perfection – for justice and freedom, hope and full healing.
Easter is a time when we remember what Jesus did for us – in our imperfect, dysfunctional humanity. It is the time when the one person who was perfect in every way – Jesus Christ – was completely broken. His death was a symbol – a signal fire for us to know how to find healing and restoration from ourselves.
Imagine you dropped your favorite coffee mug and it shattered into hundreds of different pieces. Now someone else comes along and looks at all the shards of porcelain – there would be no perfect reference for them to know exactly what kind of porcelain object it was. They could try piece it back together one at a time, but the task of finding the place for each piece would take a lifetime of focus and effort. But YOU knew what the mug looked like. You had an emotional connection with it. You knew what it was like as a functioning piece of crockery. You would definitely have a clearer understanding of how to restore your dearly loved mug.
It is the same with our lives and Jesus. He is perfect. On earth, He lived without making one mistake. Talk about the ultimate man! But in order for us to be able to piece our lives back together, He had to not only show us how to live, His perfection had to be shattered through death. He took on every problem, issue and imperfection – allowing himself to be destroyed by the wicked injustice of our world. But it didn’t end there. Three days later, He rose again – and in so doing, He showed us that it is possible to become whole after being broken.
We were born into a world already broken – with millennia of knock-on consequences of peoples’ decisions and imperfections. It took someone who knew what life was originally created to be in all it’s perfection to come and help us redeem how we see the world and how we live.
When Jesus was being crucified on the cross, He was bearing the suffering I experienced. He was taking the full force of the consequence of my sin. He was receiving the brunt of my anger and experiencing the fullness of pain. All imperfection was nailed to Him – on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. He died under that weight – His humanity completely broken. And in that the demand for the consequence of imperfection was met.
But He didn’t only silence the cry for our punishment. He came back to show us a way to find perfection – in relationship with God Himself.
Life is still not perfect. But I have a relationship with Jesus – and He is. As I have lived life engaging with Him and His word, I have found myself becoming restored – overcoming addiction, forgiving those who have done wrong and full of hope for the restoration of my mom’s sight. I have seen my finances become a foundation as I have obeyed Him. I have learnt what it means to be unique and different – that I have an identity that can reach beyond what is normal.
Jesus is alive and very real to me today. If you are tired of the hopelessness that follows imperfection. If you are broken and don’t know how to be restored – I testify that having an authentic relationship with Jesus works. He is perfection. And the more I get to know Him, the more I have seen my life restored.