The Passion of Christ
Dear Friends greetings in the blessed Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s good to be back with all of you again. The title may seem quite catchy but we’ve all heard sermons and watched movies about the Passion of the Lord Jesus Christ. They all seem to tell a story from a certain angle but none of us fully know or understand what truly transpired on the cross. So I’m going to make an attempt to try and understand what the Lord went through during His final moments on this earth.
Please turn with me to Luke 12:49-53 and Luke 22:41-44. In Luke 12:49-53 we see a shade in the Personality of our Lord Jesus that we’ve never witnessed before, an impatient Man who is obsessed with getting things done. I know that most of us would never be in such a hurry, but I do sometimes get so mad at things not going according to plan that I yell, swear, toss things to vent out my frustration. Of course there’s no comparison between my apparently sinful behavior (Colossians 3:8, Ephesians 4:31) and the Lord’s righteous indignation. However, we do see a personality trait in the Lord Jesus Christ that would’ve shocked the Pharisees who preached pious platitudes and philosophy without much conviction (Matthew 7:28-29). Here’s a Preacher who pumping the air, pounding the desk and is in a big hurry! One verse in that entire passage sums up what was going through His Mind at that time, “I have a baptism to undergo and how distressed I’m till it’s completed (Luke 12:50). I’m not sure what the Lord meant there but based on His subsequent words I can only guess that He was referring to His crucifixion and resurrection. This passionate, impatient and almost violent nature of the Lord Jesus Christ is something most churches and preachers wouldn’t dare preach because they’re afraid of offending and scaring away their flock. However, no portrayal of the Character of the Lord Jesus is complete without discussing His passionate Nature.
Let’s now turn to Luke 22:41-44, the passage describing the agony of the Lord in the garden of Gethsemane. The Passion of the Lord Jesus Christ has to be seen in the context of His excruciating agony in the garden. Again, I’m not sure why the Lord Who never disobeyed the Heavenly Father’s Will (Hebrews 10:9) had to pray three times literally begging God to let Him skip it this time (Luke 22:42). How can a Man who knew what had to be done (Luke 18:31-33) and who was obsessed with getting on with it agonize about it and even ask to be spared from it? My only guess is that what He was about to do or better yet what He was about to become was so disgusting and repulsive that the normally obedient Son of God shuddered in absolute loathing. He who never knew sin took our sin upon Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ became all that He abhorred and was even despised and rejected by His Own Father (Matthew 27:46) for a season (Matthew 12:40). There are some false teachings out there that only preach the Goodness of Christ without preaching His Passion and Suffering. Such neo-liberal theologies not only distort the Character of Christ but also mislead new converts into expecting an easy life when in reality it’s a life of agony culminating in triumph over pain and suffering (Luke 12:51-53, 1 Peter 2:21, 1 Peter 4:13, John 16:33). Theologies and new-age philosophies (like the Jedi philosophy in Star Wars that advocates only peace and insists on avoiding suffering and pain at any cost) that emasculate Christendom by deleting passion, pain, agony and ultimate glory and joy are not only false but dangerous. We Christians should know and understand what it cost the Lord Jesus to buy our salvation and freedom and not be reluctant to be just as passionate as He. Pious and toothless church sermons (relevant as they may be) mask the blood, sweat and tears shed by a Man who was sold out to God. Amen.
Dear friends, I’m quite certain that all of you are sanctified, Holy Ghost baptized saints. Should there be any among you that don’t know the Lord yet, I pray that the Lord of the Universe will set you free from sin and disobedience into His glorious light and freedom. Amen.