The passion of Christ

Since the release of Mel Gibson’s movie, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how much Jesus suffered from the time of his arrest and his death on the cross. I have not seen the movie, but from what I’ve been told, it was a very horrific depiction of the Lord’s sufferings. Having read the Bible passages, I can’t even begin to imagine how much pain he endured – the beating, the mocking, being spat upon, having his beard plucked out, the crown of thorns, the crucifixion – all of it that he suffered at the hands of men. While his suffering at the hands of men certainly was horrific, we are focusing on the wrong thing. What we can see in the movie and what we can read in the Bible only tells us what he suffered at the hands of men – we don’t see what he suffered at the hands of the holy and just God:

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Matthew 27:45-46

It is what we don’t see – what happened during the 3 hours when the whole earth was darkened – that is important. Now don’t misunderstand me. What he suffered at the hands of men was terrible and I am not belittling that. However, it has lead many to think that if they whip themselves and inflict other sufferings on themselves, they are worthy of Jesus Christ. There are thousands who inflict terrible things on themselves every year in the false belief that God will allow them into Heaven because they suffered like Jesus did. Our sufferings do not even get us one inch closer, much less assure us of a place in Heaven. When compared to what happened in those 3 dark hours, his sufferings at the hands of men are nothing. It is what happened during those three hours that is important:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

During those three dark hours, God bruised him for our iniquities. God wounded him for our transgressions. God turned out the lights so we would not see it. It was so horrible, we could not bear to see it. But, Praise God, because he became sin for us, we can be healed and have peace with God.

Have you ever realized you deserve all of God’s wrath? Do you know if you will spend eternity in Heaven with God? Take the Good Person Test and find out if you will.

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2 Responses to “The passion of Christ”

  1. Exactly! My husband, a Baptist pastor, was asked to sit on a cable tv talk forum shortly after this movie was released. We had not intended to see it, but because he was given an opportunity to witness for our Lord, we did. It was very Catholic to say the least. But, that’s another topic altogether.

    A question was given to the panel. “In one word decribe what the movie said to you?” As they went from person to person, answers like ‘Forgiven’, ‘Love’ and ‘Sufferings’, etc., were given. When they got to my husband his answer was, “Hollywood”. I knew then this was going to get interesting.

    When he was ‘fianlly’ allowed to address the panel, they kept bypassing him, he said basically the same things you have pointed out in your post. That being, the sufferings of our Lord go way beyond the physical, and some things were left for only the Father and the Son to know. We can never fully understand the depths of that suffering He tasted on our behalf.

    Also, during that discussion, the topic was brought up regarding use of movies, dramas, music, etc. for witnessing. My husband made the comment…”Why is simply preaching and teaching the Word of God no longer good enough? Why does it not satisfy?” To which another Baptist pastor, (from a local PDC church) said, “You know, we’ve tried that for the past 2000 years, maybe it’s time we tried something different.”

    I just stood there in shock at what I’d heard, and then began to pray that the Lord would have mercy on that man, surely, he does not know what he’s doing.

  2. Amen to just preaching and teaching the word of God! So often churches try to attract people with gimmicks and games. The only problem with that is that when the gimmicks and games are over, usually so is the attendance for those attracted by those things. However, if we reach people with the gospel in their homes, in their schools, at their jobs, on the streets, he that has begun a good work in them will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. If the people repent and trust Christ, we won’t have to worry about chasing after them with “follow-up” programs and such. After God saved me, I wanted to go to church. I wanted to go to Sunday School. I wanted to go to all the services. I didn’t have to be lured. I didn’t need a multimedia presentation to keep my interest. Praise God that what has worked for 2,000 years is still working today.

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