Friday, 16 April 2010
A kissing couple? A sexual encounter? A worthy cause or major interest? How about Jesus nailed to the cross?
On Good Friday, I watched Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” with the “Biblical footnotes” feature on. One that popped up early in the movie said this:
“The word ‘passion’ is taken from the Latin for ‘suffering,’ but it has also come to mean profound and transcendent love.”
This stuck with me for the rest of the movie. All I was thinking was, “He had this much passion for us—for me! He loved me so much, He was willing to suffer and die that I might be saved.”
We have so cheapened passion. It is equated with romance and sex now. “That was a passionate kiss,” we say of a bride and groom at their wedding. “Volunteering is one of my passions,” some of us would say.
But would we say such things if we knew what “passion” really meant? Would you suffer for that interest or cause? Is that kiss evidence of unconditional love?
“A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
“Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…” (Eph. 5:25).
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13).
Those verses are much weightier and demanding to me now. I am to love others so much, I would be willing to suffer and die for them. It suddenly seems daunting, impossible.
My Dad once said that he thought if he was in Jesus’ shoes, dying would have been the easy part. It was the suffering that he would have had trouble with. Judas’ betrayal; the abuse by the soldiers; the animosity of the Sanhedrin; the hatred of his people; abandonment by the disciples; the flogging; carrying the cross; being crucified; and finally, God the Father turning away from Him.
Would you suffer so that others’ needs and wants could be met? Would you die for your cause? Jesus did, and He wants us to do the same.
Do you have the passion of Jesus? What can we do to be more passionate about Christ?