This is My Body “Broken”?
I have been reading through the New International Version of the Bible cover to cover. It reads a little differently to the New King James Version which has been my favourite version for over twenty years. It is not until you reach the New Testament that you begin to see that there are some perhaps minor discrepancies between the two versions. This is on account of the NIV using different source materials for its textual basis. To study the differences in Bible texts is to enter into the realm scholarly disputes!
I would like to pick up on just one little, but not insignificant, NIV variant text regarding its omission of the word “broken” in 1 Corinthians 11:24, i.e., where Jesus says, “This is My body which is ‘broken’ for you...” Christ is of course “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world...” John 1:29. And of course the Passover lamb represented Him – of which lamb Scripture says, “They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones.” Numbers 9:12. It is very true that none of Jesus’ bones were broken when He was crucified as The Lamb of God – as per John 19:36, “These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken.'” NIV. “For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken.’” NKJV. Case closed? Well...
Personally I do not think there is any contradiction in the use of the word “broken” in 1 Corinthians 11:24 verse as per NKJV, viz., “This is My body which is broken for you...” Here is my reasoning: The New Testament Greek word for “broken” here (klah-o), e.g., according to the New Strong’s Concordance means “to break (esp. of bread): -break.” No great mystery there! However, the point is that the word Jesus used (according to Paul) has reference to the breaking of bread.
Carefully compare Jesus instituting the Lord's Supper, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’” Matthew 26:26 NIV. (cf. Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19). Notice that Jesus is showing His disciples broken bread while telling them that it is His body, i.e., the broken bread is referring to and/or is symbolizing His body. (No need to enter into discussion about Transubstantiation at this point!) But simply put: The broken bread equals Christ's broken body.
Also, Christ is “our covenant” (e.g., Isaiah 42:6; 49:8; Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24). The Lord’s Supper is the covenant meal. The breaking of the bread reminds us that God “made a covenant” with Abraham, the “Father of the Faithful”, (Genesis 15:18; Romans 4:11). “And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces [ie., the “broken” animal carcasses]. On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram.” Genesis 15:17-18; cf., Jeremiah 34:18.
Also, the Isaiah 52 and 53 verses clearly refer to Jesus, “His appearance was so *disfigured* beyond that of any man, and His form *marred* beyond human likeness.” Isaiah 52:14 NIV; “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was *crushed* for our iniquities...” Isaiah 53:5 NIV. “Yet it was the Lord’s will to *crush* Him...” Isaiah 53:10 NIV. Note the words “disfigured”, “marred”, “crushed”, and “crush”! Clearly Scripture seems happy enough to use terms that would seem to suggest broken bones even though technically none of His bones were broken!
Before His crucifixion Jesus was “scourged” (John 19:1) and had a crown of thorns placed on His head no doubt causing His head to bleed (Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2; 5). He was struck on the head (Matthew 27:30; Mark 14:65; 15:19; John 19:2-3). At His crucifixion He had nails driven through His hands and feet and a spear thrust into His side (John 19:1;34; 20:27, cf., Isaiah 49:16a; Luke 24:39-40). “All My bones are out of joint … They have pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones.” Psalm 22:14b;16b-17a.
Bottom line? I've always been happy enough to accept the word “broken” as used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:24 (i.e., the Lord’s Supper passage) to mean that Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, had His body bruised, battered and killed for my iniquities, though none of His bones were actually broken. Scripture attests to that. And thus He was holocausted by God as He poured out His fiery wrath on His only begotten Son, as pictured by the Passover Lamb “roasted in fire” in Old Testament times, (e.g., Exodus 12:9). Indeed, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” 1 Corinthians 5:7 NIV.
Just leave the word “broken” alone! It speaks volumes of what my Saviour did for me. Well NIV, “If it ain’t “broken”, don’t fix it!”