The Passion of Christ
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
In 2004, Mel Gibson produced a movie known as “The Passion of the Christ”. The movie told the story of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus, all leading, ultimately, to his crucifixion. The movie brought the movie’s title into popular use. The term “Passion of Christ” however predates the movie by 2000 years. Today, when we think of passion we think of things like “he has a passion for his work” or “they are passionate lovers” or “she passionately loves dogs”. We equate passion with love but more than just love, the exercise and activity driven by love. This is not a poor way to think of the “Passion of Christ,” but we also must know that the word “Passion” comes from a Latin root word that means “suffering.” It is quite appropriate to refer to the passion of Christ as the suffering of Christ.
While the movie is not the topic of the day, it is hard to deny that the brutality and gruesomeness presented in the movie is not far from the truth. Jesus suffered greatly during his last day on earth, culminating in his crucifixion at Calvary. Isaiah 52 verse 14 tells us that “…his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind”. Stop and think about what that meant. Consider what Jesus suffered:
• He was brutally beaten by Roman soldiers
• Scourged – A most brutal device that involved whipping his back with leather or rope that had glass, metal or rocks embedded in it. The intent was to rip the flesh off as the scourge is pulled back.
• His beard was plucked out
• He was spat upon
• Was forced to wear a crown of thorns
• Was crucified
• Separated from the Father
Consider also that Jesus could, at any point, have relieved himself of this suffering. Matthew 26:53 tells us that He could have called for more than 12 legions of angels to defend Him. More than that, He could have spoken as God incarnate, and He would have had anything He desired. Instead, He allowed Himself to be wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, yet, we were healed by His stripes. Jesus lived a sinless life and chose to suffer punishment, betrayal, abuse and crucifixion, all for the sake of mankind. This is the passion of Christ; the willingness to die for His people, suffer for their sins, and deny Himself relief from His pain and suffering.
WHAT IT MEANS TO OUR FAMILY
Our sins are the reason for his suffering; they are the reason for his passion. Little or big, it makes no difference. Sin has a price, and that price is death. Jesus chose to pay our debt by suffering and dying. Little sins cause big suffering. Try to avoid all sin by remembering the price!
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