This is a follow-up to last week. You can find it in our archives. “While court was still in session, Pilate’s wife sent him a message: ‘Don’t get mixed up in judging this noble man. I’ve just been through a long and troubled night because of a dream about him.’ Meanwhile, the high priests and religious leaders had talked the crowd into asking for the pardon of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus. The governor asked, ‘Which of the two do you want me to pardon?’ They said, ‘Barabbas!’ ‘Then what do I do with Jesus, the so-called Christ?’ emphasis added. They all shouted, ‘Nail him to a cross!’” — Matthew 27:19-22
In the history of mankind, there is no greater act of love that mysteriously impacts every human being more than The Passion of Christ. God’s sacrifice of His only begotten Son, who was without sin, changed the Old Testament approach to developing a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
By way of review, let’s again look at the definitions for passion. Emotion. Desire. Enthusiasm. Anger. Passion is about emotion, an ardent love or desire, an abandoned display of emotion, and most importantly the sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper through the Crucifixion.
“Passion” is derived from the old Latin word, “passus” which means “an undergoing.” The root of the word means to suffer. That’s why Jesus’ sufferings on His way to the cross are called “The Passion.”
Unlike the Old Testament offerings and sacrifices that weren’t totally perfect, the God-man Jesus was the most perfect sacrifice – He was blameless and without sin. With His death Jesus took upon Himself the sins and the pain of all mankind. It was an act of grace by God that gave us the unmerited gift of His precious Son.
Even after seeing the newest films on the life and death of Christ, some people are asking the same question that Pilate did, “Then what do I do with Jesus, the so-called Christ.” Many have rejected Christ and His message. Others have tried to cover His gracious act of love with a life filled with “good deeds” instead of a personal relationship with the living God. And still others have desecrated His death by living a life of sin.
Over the past thirty-four years our ministry has given out hundreds of Josh McDowell’s book More Than A Carpenter. In this book he succinctly states that after studying all the historical and biblical evidence a person must choose one of three conclusions. Either Jesus Christ was a lunatic, a liar, or He is our Savior. Any clear thinking person must ultimately conclude that He is in fact our Savior.
If then Jesus is our Lord and Savior why can’t we be more passionate about serving Him and loving others? Why do we have such a difficult time being as passionate about worshipping Him as we are about supporting our favorite sports team?
So, the question remains, what then shall we do with this sinless man named Jesus? This is a question that requires a response of personal dedication and commitment. If we really believe the Easter story then our passion should be filled with an ardent love for Him and others.
Have you taken the time to reconsider the life and death of Christ? What does it mean to sacrifice? Scripture says, “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:13-14. What sacrifices is God asking of you?