They say that he suffered all our sins.
They say he was perfect.
How does perfect and sin go together in one man? They say he was tempted by all the things that we're tempted by. They say that he didn't give in to any of the temptation.
I give in to the temptation.
A perfect man who suffered my sins is not perfect. He is broken.
If I told you God was a broken man, would you say that is a wrong thing to say? Would you scuff your feet uncomfortably?
If I tell you God is a broken man, will you stare at me weirdly? Will you shake your head angrily?
God is a hero. Hero's aren't broken. God is a rescuer. Rescuer's aren't broken.
But a God who takes my place and becomes what I do wrong? Where is the perfection in this? He is so broken. We know what kind of place this is. We know the kinds of things that go on here, in dark places and where everyone can see. A God who took all these pains on himself is a God so wrecked you'd hurt to look at him.
The servant grew up before God - a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried - our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him - our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We're all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him.
A perfect God with bruises, sins that ripped and tore and crushed him. This is God. He has bruises. He is disfigured. He wears secret pain you're ashamed of. Everything wrong with you is wrong with him.
How is he perfect? He holds all our darkness. He didn't just take mine and yours as well. He is covered in sin of every human who ever filled space in this earth.
What perfect God wears uncountable bruises takes shame we claim unspeakable?
How can he refuse every temptation and still end up owning all the darkness in himself? Does refusing temptation make him perfect even though he became all our imperfection?
That's what I want to know, that's where I'm at right now - I know that Jesus never did anything wrong. I know he lived what none of us would've ever done, no matter how hard we wanted to try. And I see how that makes him perfect - and how the law none of us lived out got fulfilled in him.
But every person he comes across, compassion is him becoming their pain, their disfigurement, dissolving their shame - and the cross is the ultimate break when the bruises and hate from all of us pierce body and soul of the God who always chose to partake in the broken spaces of every womb-knitted creation he came across.
I know he never did anything wrong - but he chose to become all we've ever done, and doesn't that look the same?
What if God came to earth to be broken? What if God came to earth to be broken by us - because to partake in our brokenness was the way for us home.
What if this was his real sacrifice: not to bleed on a cross, but to become a broken man by accepting the dark pain in us that had never lived in him? God is great and strong and big, immeasurably - and God coming to earth was him choosing to be wrecked like us, damaged, dirty. God became a man and what did he do? He faced people full of disgrace and shame and he looked in their pained eyes and he told them that he didn't condemn them - and he was always moved by compassion, and all that means is that he partnered them in their pain. When God takes pain into himself, shame disappears. God has no shame. Shame is fear of being rejected. People find God facing them and he kneels into their pain and in the sharing of their pain, their shame disappears.
Maybe you can't argue out and compare broken and perfection. Maybe broken and perfection can be the same thing. Maybe if you're God you can be broken and perfect. Maybe if a perfect God can break, then a broken person can be perfect.
Why would a perfect God break? Perfect things don't break. But a perfect God breaks on crosses every day for broken people, freeing them from their shame,
and fully perfect things will always choose to suffer for the broken,
because perfect things are so whole that they'll suffer brokenness for the ones they love every day of their lives.