Over the Easter weekend, my family and I watched The Passion together so that we could contemplate the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As I watched this scripturally-based movie, I was struck by how the single emotion, passion, was displayed in two distinct ways:
1. The Passion of Christ. Oh, how He loves us. It’s hardly humanly graspable–the depth of His love. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…(John 3:16). And this perfect Son is the only One who could take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). No human being, no earthly king, no religious ruler could conquer sin and death once and for all. So the God-man came to our rescue. Nothing was going to stop His passionate pursuit of mankind. So He steadfastly endured the cross.
2. The Passion of the People. Oh, how they hated Him. It’s hardly divinely graspable–the depth of their hate (sin). The Jews and Romans alike so hated Jesus that they gave Him over to death. And they kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting at Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him, mocking Him… (Mark 15:19-20). Nothing was going to stop their passionate pursuit of this “blasphemous king.” So they steadfastly drove Him to the cross.
I understand now that the crucifixion of Christ is a cross of passions. Heavenly righteousness meets earthly unrighteousness, divine love meets human hate, everlasting life meets eternal death. I know and confess the passion of my sin matches the hurling insults and the gruesome lashes of the Jews and Romans.
But hear the Good News: the passion of God has overcome the passion of man! Jesus’ last words were, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He defeated sin, He defeated hate, and He defeated death. Jesus has His arms outstretched begging us to come. You and I must meet Him there and choose to live by one of these passions, His or ours.
“I choose You, dear Jesus! Thank You, my God and Savior for powerfully overtaking me at the cross. I am Yours and You are mine (Song of Sol. 6:3)! Fill me, reign in me. And now, cause me to steadfastly pursue others with Your passion that has replaced mine. I pray that I will persistently point many to the cross so they too can choose Jesus Christ. You promise each of us, he who believes in Him will not be disappointed (Romans 9:33).”