This week, Pastor Nathanael Mayhew digs into the word “passion” and its relationship to the season of Lent. When we think of “passion” the English speaking mind usually thinks of love or a strong enthusiasm for something. But the word “passion” which is derived from the Greek word “pascho” actually means “to suffer.” For centuries the word “passion” has been used to describe the suffering which Jesus willingly endured for sinners to redeem them from sin and death and to reconcile them to God. When we think of the Passion of Jesus, we are reminded of all that Jesus suffered in the hours that led up to and culminated in His crucifixion. He was slapped, spit on, and beaten by the Jewish leaders and guards during the middle-of-the-night Jewish trials. He was scourged, mocked and abused by Pilate Roman soldiers. After being condemned, Jesus was forced to carry His cross to Calvary where his hands and feet were nailed to the cross and he was crucified.
The physical suffering of Jesus was indeed great. But if that is all that we think of when we consider the passion of Jesus, then we have failed to see the real suffering which Jesus endured for us. The suffering of Jesus was greater than just the physical pain He endured. Peter writes: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Through His passion, Jesus bore the punishment for the sins of everyone in the world. He endured the just anger of God against our sins.
Jesus suffered all this because of your sin and mine. If I had no sin, I could be released of my part in the suffering and death of Jesus. But I am not without sin, and my sin made the passion of Jesus necessary.
Thanks be to our Savior Jesus for His passion – the suffering He willingly endured in the place of sinners, that He might bring us to God!