Passion – Why was Jesus’s last week called the “Passion of Christ”?
According to the Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words-
Passion = “a suffering” or “a passive emotion,” is translated “passions” ; see AFFECTION
How can one word mean “a suffering” “passive emotion” AND “affection”?!
In view of this, I came up with a definition: “When your will has a strong desire for one thing so much, and the focus is so intense, that tremendous personal sacrifice, surrender or risk is inevitable.”
Look at this “passion week” briefly in Luke 19 –
- triumphal entrance to Jerusalem – emotions are high and excitement is at its peak (Exhiliration)
- Jesus sees illegal activity in the church, clears the people out and overturns the money tables. (rage)
- His authority is called into question by religious leaders (20:2) (Social rebuke)
- Jesus rebukes the Jews with a parable (20:9-18)
- Plot is organized to take Jesus’ life (physical threat)
- Last supper: talk of blood and broken body (warning of violent death)
- Pleading prayer to avoid this pain, but a desire to do God’s will. So much so that his sweat is blood droplets. (anguish)
- Peter denies him, while he is being questioned (rejection of a friend)
- Guards mock and beat him (physical harm and emotional bullying)
- Witnesses are paid to lie about him in a court of law. (hate)
- Found guilty and crucified. (death)
LOTS of “passion” being demonstrated here –
So who was the Messiah’s Passion directed toward?
1. His Father
Everything the Father sent Him to passionately do and passionately experience was because of a passionate love for you.
So, maybe you CAN demonstrate all of the definitions in the Vine’s Dictionary –
God’s AFFECTION for us, was such that he would SUFFER all of these attacks and all of this pain in a PASSIVE way, in obedience to His Father’s will – so that we might be rescued, redeemed, saved from an eternity without Him.
“God demonstrated his love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Today it causes me to consider….what are my passions directed toward? What am I desiring so desperately and where am I so intensely focused that I am willing to risk losing elements of my life, surrender things I own or sacrifice what I value – in order to obtain?
That’s all I have….