Word of the Week: PASSION

Word of the Week: PASSION

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! 

One thought on “Word of the Week: PASSION

  1. And although academic we still battle with the word sin. We know that the penalty of sin is death. We know that Our Lord and Savior died for our sins, that He took upon Himself our sins. That He was our Ultimate Sacrifice. And yet I’m haunted by the word sin. More clearly, if you tell me the water is hot, I know what you mean, I’ve touched hot water. Similarly, if you tell me the stove is hot I know immediately what you mean. If you tell me the wind is strong, I know what that means. All these things I can sense with my body to know what you mean. However, sin is elusive to me, why? Why can’t we feel sin the same way we feel cold or hot. You may say sin is bad, I know what bad is because as a child I was disciplined in proportion to how bad I had been. Again a physical response to the word. But since I was conceived in sin, born in sin, think in sin, live in sin, live in a sinful world, being a chief sinner, how can I know what sin feels like? You say if we neglect to recognize that the passion of Christ was not the physical suffering and death but the acknowledgement of Christ taking the sin out of us into Him, how can I know what that feels like? How do I measure sin?

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