His Passion

He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. – Isaiah 53:3-6.

Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. – Matthew 27:26.

By now, there are few people who have not heard something about Mel Gibson’s film, “The Passion of Christ.” Hollywood ought to get a clue about the huge market for Christian oriented films but I doubt that they do because their hearts are so hard. Ticket sales for this film appear to be on track to set new records.

It has occurred to me that many may wonder what the term “Passion of Christ” means. Passion as in the Passion of Christ refers to the sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion, as related in the New Testament. Our modern word “passion” originates from Medieval Latin passi, passin-, sufferings of Jesus or a martyr, from Late Latin, physical suffering, martyrdom, from Latin, an undergoing, from passus, past participle of pat, to suffer.

In the Passion of Christ, we see the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. In Mel Gibson’s film many have commented on the how horrible is the scourging of Christ which seems to go on and on and on. A Roman scourging was a terrible thing and many did not survive it much less a crucifixion. Isaiah says, “by His stripes we are healed.” Our healing has come at an incomprehensible price of the pain and suffering of our Lord. Of what are we healed? We are healed of the disease of sin, which is an eternally terminal ailment. The apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Romans that, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and that “the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23; 6:23a).” Isaiah says that, “we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way (Isaiah 53).” How are we healed? “…the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53).”

Why was it necessary for Christ to suffer? The writer of the book of Hebrews explains, “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come…Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? …according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. …For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another– He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many (Hebrews 9:11-28).”

God has provided a Savior for you at incomprehensible cost. Have you received Christ Jesus as your personal Savior inviting Him to come into your heart and life asking Him to forgive you of your sins and be your Lord and Master? John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus is the one and only way provided for reconciliation with our Heavenly Father (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). I plead with you; please don’t neglect so great a salvation that has been provided for you at such great cost. Today is the day of salvation. If you haven’t done so receive Christ as your Savior today before it is eternally too late.

(Why it was necessary for Christ to suffer.)

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