What hope does a broken clay pot have?

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 19, Mark 5

The LORD told Jeremiah to take a clay pot to a valley and to call the leaders.

  • Go and buy a pottery’s earthenware jar …  Then go out to the valley of Ben-hinnom … and proclaim there the words that I tell you … [1]

Here, surrounded by the remains of Baal altars and bones from child sacrifice, Jeremiah proclaimed God’s indictment of Judah:

  • Behold I am about to bring a calamity upon this place … Because they have forsaken Me … and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings … [2].

This awful place would be called the valley of Slaughter because of it would be full of carcasses and suffer terrible judgment.

  • I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will give over their carcasses as food for the birds of the sky …  I will also make this city a desolation and an object of hissing … [3]

To symbolize what was to come, the LORD told Jeremiah to shatter the clay pot and tell the people what was to come.

  • Just so will I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place for burial … [4].

Although this prophecy was partially fulfilled when Babylon conquered Jerusalem [5], it was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus.  At the Last Supper, He spoke of His body – broken for His people.

  • … Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” [6].

He spoke of His blood – poured out from the clay pot.

  • And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins …” [7].

The hope of communion is that we clay pots can be repaired and forgiven because Jesus was broken and judged for us.  Have you been trying to repair your own brokenness or have you accepted the brokenness of Christ for you?


[1] Jeremiah 19:1-2 NASB  |  [2] Jeremiah 19:3-5 NASB  |  [3] Jeremiah 19:6-8 NASB  |  [4] Jeremiah 19:10-11 NASB  |  [5] see Lamentations 4  |  [6] Matthew 26:26 NASB  |  [7] Matthew 26:27-28 NASB

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