All The Pieces
I met the famous English chef, Jamie Oliver, a few years ago while on a shopping trip. Well, not really because he wasn’t the real deal, just a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Jamie standing in a shop selling his new range of frying pans! Still, I decided to have a photo with this version of Jamie, regardless of the fact he wasn’t the real deal. But the trouble was, although the cardboard image looked like Jamie, it was only a fraction of who he was and this is possibly how close I’ll get to Jamie because I’m not part of his life. This 2D, rigid cardboard cut-out only represented one piece of the famous chef (his image) instead of all of the pieces of his life and this told me that I had no relationship with him.
To be honest, the close-up cardboard version of Jamie wasn’t all that impressive and thinking about this moment made me wonder if our relationship with Jesus could if we’re not careful, become a 2D version of Who He truly is. You know, some kind of life-sized cardboard cut-out image of Jesus we can carry around with us, the version that we can pull out when needed that’s not that impressive because we’ve decided the real deal is too risky to give all the pieces of our life to.
Whether you’re a fan of the drama series The Chosen or not, the way the cast and crew have brought to life the ministry of Jesus and His disciples into a more real, tangible representation of what it would have been like is truly remarkable. When you watch the show, it’s like each character’s life has had all the pieces fitted together to represent the whole person that feels like 3D rather than a 2D cardboard cut-out that has been portrayed on screen in the past.
The director, Dallas Jenkins, released a photo of some of the cast that has been circling the socials for a while. It is a selfie of all the actors who play the twelve disciples and Jesus, sitting in a boat on the sea of Galilee. The caption Dallas wrote was, “I prefer this to Da Vinci’s painting. Same people, better portrayal.” And with its 5.1k shares and 3.2k comments so far on that one photo, Dallas may be onto something with his statement that captured what we think of the 3D version of Jesus and His disciples in The Chosen over the 2D version that Da Vinci painted so long ago.
The stark difference between the modern photo of Jesus and His twelve disciples in the boat and The Last Supper artwork revealed a rapport with each cast member, a togetherness, a closeness that Da Vinci’s 2D painting doesn’t reflect. It’s like the 3D, warm fellowship between the cast members of The Chosen somehow reaches out and grabs you when you look at the photo and it’s as if the disciples are saying, “Look at us! We’ve been brave enough to give all the pieces of ourselves through this experience and because we’re willing to do that we are reflecting how Jesus changed us all.”
The challenge we face as followers is we need to trust Jesus enough to give Him all the pieces of our lives, otherwise the 2D cardboard cut-out version of Jesus is all we’ll ever experience in our relationship with Him. I don’t know about you, but I have learned over the years that Jesus isn’t fazed by all our doubts, worries, fears, and struggles. We can trust Him with all the pieces of our lives, not just the good stuff. All the rubble remains of our past, the junk we hold onto, the fragments of debris and dregs of our lives can be handed over to Jesus because, believe it or not, the real honest Jesus is big enough to handle all of our fragmented pieces.
Perhaps you did trust Him and give all the pieces of your life to Jesus, only to be left disappointed? But let me ask you a question dear friend, which Jesus did you give all the pieces to? The 2D cardboard cut-out version of Jesus you carried around with you or the real deal? Believe me, the real deal will take all the pieces of your life and recreate them into something beautiful. Like fragments of coloured glass that make up the pictures in stained glass windows that were used because most people centuries ago who attended churches were unable to read, so the stained-glass windows told the stories of the Bible.
And this is what the real deal Jesus does, He takes all the pieces of your life, every fragment of broken glass and turns them into a story for people to read when they meet you. As disciples of Jesus, we need to have this kind of relationship with Him. If we chose not to give Him all the pieces of our lives we end up carrying around a 2D cardboard cut-out version of Jesus instead of reflecting His story in the stained glass windows of our lives because we have decided not to trust in the real deal. The real Jesus, the One who gave all the pieces of His life so we could give Him, in return, all the pieces of our lives too.
Lives of disciples that tell a story that says, “Look at us! We’ve been brave enough to give all the pieces of ourselves through this experience and because we’re willing to do that we are reflecting how Jesus changed us all.”
How can you trust Jesus with all the pieces of your life? What could you do that will help you do this?
Perhaps you could start the process by praying this prayer:
Dear Jesus, I surrender every piece of my life to You. I don’t want to carry around a cardboard cut-out version of You believing this is how a relationship as one of Your disciples is what You want. I want to experience You, Jesus, the real deal, the One who sacrificed all of the pieces of Yourself for me. Thank you, Jesus, for your love, patience, and kindness as I learn to trust You more and surrender to You all the pieces of my life so You can turn all those fragmented pieces into something beautiful. Amen