– Jesus: Our Restorer of All That Is Broken (Part 1)
BROKEN AND RUINED
Our only hope for resuscitation, restoration, and revival is the “One Who Restores All Broken Things” – JESUS! As we see in Nehemiah, He was also the only hope for the Jewish exiles in Persia.
God strategically placed Nehemiah, Ezra, and Esther at a critical juncture in Jewish history. The book of Nehemiah was written about 440 BC during the reign of the Persian king, Artaxerxes. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king, but he also had major governing responsibilities. As a cupbearer, Nehemiah was a high ranking officer in the Persian empire, whose duty it was to serve the wine at the king’s table. A cupbearer had to be a person regarded as thoroughly trustworthy due to potential treachery, poisoning, and other plots against the king. The cupbearer’s confidential relations with the king often endeared him to his sovereign and gave him a position of great influence.
The Situation: Ruins, Destruction, Captivity
In Nehemiah, we see how God used wicked foreign powers like the Assyrians and the Babylonians to bring judgement on Israel. We know how this story begins. Beloved Jerusalem, the Holy City, was a ROCKPILE, completely ruined – the temple, the wall, the gates … destroyed.
And, even worse, God’s people were exiled across the known world – all because of their refusal to completely obey God. Fortunately, that is not the end of the story.
The Beginning of Restoration
The change began when Nehemiah heard news of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was told, “’The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.’ So, it was, when [Nehemiah] heard these words, that [he] sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; [he] was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:3-4).
At the Impossible Place the Lord Makes a Way Through
The king noticed sadness in Nehemiah’s countenance and asked him about it. That led to an opportunity for Nehemiah to request a leave of absence to go and rebuild Jerusalem. The king granted his request and sent captains of the army and horsemen with him.
INTEGRATING TRUTH INTO EVERYDAY LIFE
We have all felt broken in some regard or felt like a situation in our life was in ruins – or perhaps our whole, entire life seemed to be in ruins. There is hope in Jesus, the rebuilder of all broken things. Just as Jerusalem, broken, in ruins, with the Hebrew people were scattered around the known world in captivity because of the sins of previous generations, was rebuilt by God, our lives also can be rebuilt by God. We too can be release from captivity and bondage.
Jesus is the restorer of all that is broken. Just as He miraculously made a way for Nehemiah to go to rebuild Jerusalem and enabled him to succeed at the task, He will do so for us. However, like Nehemiah, our heart must be right. What do we need to do? Let’s look at Nehemiah’s example. Read Nehemiah’s prayer:
“I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You.
Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.
Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘IF you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but IF you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’
Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man” (Nehemiah 1: -11).
- What characteristics of God did Nehemiah mention?
- What sin(s) did Nehemiah confess?
- What promise did he quote?
- What did Nehemiah request?
- How can you apply this to any broken area or ruins in your life?