Last night, I watched The Passion of the Christ. It was the fourth time I have seen the film, although I think it was actually much harder for me to see it this time.

I knew I needed to see it though, knew that I needed to be reminded of everything Christ did to demonstrate His love towards us. I do not at all enjoy watching the terrifying gore, but I need to be broken, I need to remember how He was broken. I so quickly forget the cost Christ paid for my redemption; it is easy to simply think of his death as quick or not overly meaningful or painful. Especially when I read the account of the crucifixion in the Gospels, it seems so emotionless, so factual. I cannot comprehend what exactly the words “Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged,” mean or to what extent he was beaten by the Council. And when I fail to remember everything, His physical pain, emotional agony of being rejected, or the total brutality and horrific sin of man, I do not value Him as I should, and I readily abandon His way for my own selfish one.

Although there are a few liberties taken in the film that I am not sure I agree with, I believe it gives a very good description of what Christ did endure. Some of the most powerful scenes for me were when Christ was rejected by the Jewish Council, when Pilate asked Christ what truth was, and when Christ prays to God to forgive his executioners because they did not know what they were doing.  I kept thinking I have rejected Him, every time I choose to follow something besides Him, I reject Him and his sacrifice.  I also kept thinking about how wonderful it is that there is Truth, and that God has provided the Way, Truth, and Life. Without the truth, we would still be captives bound by Satan’s lies, the negations of Truth. But because of Christ, the Truth, we now have a Way to God and freedom from our bondage to sin and lies.

So what, or Who, is my passion? Christ’s passion was to honor God, and to rescue us; what is mine? I like to say or think that Christ is my passion, that living for Him is my life goal. But the little decisions I make every day seem to suggest otherwise. To borrow Switchfoot’s lyrics, where’s my treasure, who’s my hope? If Christ endured everything for me, and enables me to endure whatever He asks of me, why should I not live for Him with a single passion?

As Paul says, I must decrease, He must increase. And,

 What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long: we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

                                                Romans 8:35-39

This great love demands my soul, my life, my all.

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