Passion. When someone hears the word today, especially if “unchurched”, most people think of strong emotion, intensity or enthusiasm. Fans are passionate about their team, for example. But passion also is a word to speak of suffering, particularly Jesus’ at the time of the cross. As we approach Easter it’s fitting to hear of His suffering again as even this helps us to love Him more and walk with Him better.
It seems the intensity of Christ’s sufferings, came in waves, if you will, as you read the Gospels. For instance, as He prayed in the Garden in Lk.22, He greatly suffered pangs of anguish in anticipation of what was about to transpire to pay for our sins, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.” (vs.42) and then in Matthew 27:46, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” which is a direct prophetic fulfillment of Ps.22:1 a millenium before ! The questions begs the answer: because of His great love for YOU despite our sin !!
In a day when people cannot seem to darken the doors of His churches with the exception of Christmas and Easter times, or whine about dressing up a little, or the offering plate, or being made to feel guilty about something they know they need to change, how little we are often willing to suffer in comparison to His passion. When we get a another look at what He’s suffered, realizing it was for us, if we then act on it in faith we find our whining turns to loving service, our half-hearted worship to zealous adoration, our sporadic nickel and diming of God to cheerful and grateful giving ! Yes, we need to be reminded of the “messy” things about Easter like His suffering, it helps us to love Him more.
Do you need some recalibration in your devotion and service? Have a nice slow read about His passion some time today or this weekend, let it soak in and filter down into the recesses of your heart that can become cold through either not hearing about it for a while or hearing it with it really gripping your mind. Let that dampened passion for Him be reinvigorated by meditating on how much He suffered that you would not ! When you do, it will be a Happy Easter indeed !