By now, most of us if not all of us have had a chance to watch the movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” It was a movie that depicted the expedited downfall of Jesus by his disciple Judas. It showed in detail the last days that Jesus walked the earth as well as how brutal his crucifixion really was. And of course, since we are now four days away from Resurrection Day aka Easter Sunday, that movie will be shown at different points and time this week. What surprises me and saddens me though, is that how people can watch the adaptation of Jesus being murdered publicly and have no reactions to it. Almost like they are watching a horror movie with all these fictional characters running from a fictional monster. Of course, you may see them cringe or look away at some parts, but once the movie is over it has not resonated with them that they watched a real- life event. An event that was only created to save raggedy folks like myself. Yes, I said raggedy. We all do not have it all together. Just like those patchwork outfits that Raggedy Ann would wear, is exactly how we look to God. But He loved us anyway. Have you taken the time to really think about what Easter/Resurrection Day really means?
“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Matthew 16:21
As we begin the celebrations of another Easter Sunday by dressing up in our finest duds, attending different church services and/or mass, and having dinner with family and friends, I find this the perfect week to remember why we are all here to begin with. A long time ago a sacrifice was made. A sacrifice that benefited us, yet we only take this time during the year to remember it. Unfortunately, many of us are easily distracted by all the pomp and circumstance of the day and not tuned into what the day represents for believers and non- believers.
The day represents a Passion. Passion for humankind as a whole. A passion to see us succeed. A passion to see us live healthy lives full of growth, peace, and love. A Passion that is a surrendering of oneself for something greater. A Passion that has withstood the test of time. A Passion that most of us yearn to understand and embody. It is one thing to say we are Christian, but another thing entirely to live it out. His Passion for us will outlive this week, how long will ours?
“Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. “Far be it from You, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to You!” But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.…” Matthew 16:22-24
Are any of us willing to take up a cross and follow Jesus? Can you imagine the load he bared for us? What an incredible gift He has given us all, even though we do not deserve it. We struggle with our everyday problems and stress, but can any of us say we can fully sacrifice ourselves for the good of us all? I have asked myself this question on more than one occasion because the small things I must give up for Lent are at times the hardest things I have ever done. And the even worst thing is that these sacrifices are for a small amount of time yet Christ suffered and died for us. He did not see with human eyes the reward in His sacrifice and He still did it. He believed in what His Father told Him. He had a job to do and nothing or no one was going to distract Him from the goal. That is Passion!
Lastly, I am asking that you take the time to remember who we are truly honoring this Easter Sunday. We all will find a church to attend, a new outfit to wear, and a home to have a good meal. But will we find a message for our souls, a light in all the darkness, a freedom from our burdens. Jesus paid it all for us and offers all things and more. He arose and now His spirit dwells in all of us. Let’s not take his sacrifice in vain. We can use His passion to show compassion for believers and unbelievers who need a way out the darkness. Have a Happy Easter/Resurrection Day everyone. You got this!