What are you passionate about? For some, it’s family; for others, sports, work, a hobby or yes, our religious beliefs.
Passion comes from the Latin word meaning to suffer or endure. Compassion is closely related, which means suffering with someone and being prepared to share in their pain.
We want to understand that Jesus suffered with purpose. Because God so loved the world, He sent His Son, not to condemn us but to save us (John 3: 16-17). God has never stopped loving humankind, and He became man to suffer and die. He thereby showed His solidarity by standing by us in suffering and death. He showed He loves all, even if we’re sinners. He wants to bring us into eternal fellowship with Him, His Father and the Holy Spirit. The suffering of humanity is not from purpose, ex. punishment, but rather a consequence of humankind’s distance from God through sin.
March 26 will be the fifth Sunday of Lent, which marks the beginning of Passiontide, observed in many Christian churches. This is when we turn special attention toward the last days of Jesus before He suffered on the cross on Good Friday.
What will motivate and move our hearts to become passionate about Christ’s suffering? Let’s consider that He was betrayed by not only one close follower of His but by many who welcomed Him into Jerusalem. The Chief Priests and their council accepted many false accusations because they felt threatened by Him. He was humiliated, scourged, forced to carry His cross and finally crucified. He suffered the worst punishment of any criminal, all while being innocent.
However, it will require more than remembering His suffering. We need to reflect upon His response to this suffering. He forgave His punishers and entrusted His mother to Apostle John for her future welfare. He did not fight, resist or accuse. Let our passion be to become like him, to pick up our cross and follow Him. Let’s bury the old Adam, and old nature, and never stop trying to be like Christ. Jesus never yielded to doing the Father’s will, which gave Him the victory.