Shared March 22nd, 2015
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me, Luke 9:23.
Passion is approaching. In fact next Sunday, March 29, is Palm Sunday. This is a very significant day/time because this day in history marks the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem. He entered Jerusalem triumphantly, I might add and also to set the record straight. This is the same Jerusalem that today the moslems are trying to lay claim to and are fighting over, where they have built a mosque, the dome of the rock and claim the city is theirs. satan always imitates or tries to take over what is God’s, and knows how to sow confusion!
Some 2000 years ago, not only did Jesus enter Jerusalem, but His entrance also signified the start of the week, which today is referred to as His passion. This word “passion” is derived from Latin and means ‘suffering’. Hence Jesus Christ’s suffering on the cross has always been referred to as The Passion. In our times, we use the word when we see or talk about a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. This word, and I know you will not be surprised, is also used to describe a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone.
But a full definition of the word is not about any kind of strong feeling, or commitment. Properly used, the word describes a chosen suffering for some worthwhile thing as in the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and His death the Friday, which we call Good Friday.
There is also a root meaning of ‘suffering’ that you may find surprising; it is the word “passive”. Mention the word “passive” and most will not associate or link it to suffering. And yet even though we don’t associate passivity with pain, the passive person also does suffer. However, this kind of suffering originates from outside, from external forces, resulting from such as inactivity and lack of direction.
So look at Jesus. Following Divine plan He knowingly and actively chose the last path of His earthly life, knowing that it was to be fraught with suffering. While God demonstrated His passion for us, Jesus also showed His passion for obedience, obedience to death, even the death of the cross.
So here is my question, something for you to ponder: how do you respond to God the Father’s call to follow Him through His Son Jesus Christ? Which one are you, passionate or passive? Let me remind you, as we just saw that both ways entail or lead to suffering: if you are passionate, then you are actively choosing God’s way and thus following Jesus obediently. If in actual face you live somewhere in the Western world, then you may not be suffering as Jesus did. If you are living somewhere in China or Egypt or Nigeria, you may suffer or be suffering like Jesus did. If passive, then I will say that the suffering you are experiencing is not connected to a willingly chosen path.
What do I mean? Well, it is a kind of suffering resulting from alienating yourself from Him. Some call themselves “Christians” yet they do not remember the last time they were in a house of worship fellowshipping with the brethren. This is the kind of suffering I am referring to where you are out of His will and so you are tossed around by the wild waves of a restless life. So, are you passionate or passive? Next Sunday begins the week of the old rugged cross, Jesus’ passion, and here is your opportunity to start making things right with God by being passionate.
Proposed prayer: Dear Father, I want to be obedient to You and make a conscious choice to walk with You because You said that I need to ‘take up my cross and follow You.’ It is my desire to be passionate about You so help me, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.