When Paul Harvey wrote “having now experienced ‘The Passion of the Christ’ (you do not ‘view’ this film)” he echoed the sentiments of most that I have heard speak after having seen this movie.  I know for myself, the impact was tremendous.  Another individual I read about mentioned the sense of being wearied after observing the trials and sufferings of Christ, much like Christ Himself must have felt.  That is what this movie should be for those striving to draw closer in their relationship to God.  It should be an experience of not only of the sacrifice made, but of the elements that surrounded it, most prominently, love.

Did you experience the love?  The love of a mother for her son as she became aware of trouble during her slumber and was abruptly awakened.  The love of a mother who watched helplessly as her son was tried, convicted and condemned by liars, hypocrites, and self-righteous religious leaders and politicians.  Could you sense a mother’s love and pain as she observed the relentless torture of scourging and His crucifixion? 

And then there was the love of His friends.  Did you experience it?  Scriptures teach, and the movie portrayed vividly the scattering of those who would have fought to the death by Jesus’ side.  Yet the love of a few was demonstrated in their presence at the foot of the cross.  Initially we know that Mary Magdalene and others watched from a distance, yet they eventually made their way to the cross.  Could it be their love was perfected, driving out any fear (1 John 4:18) that separated them physically and emotionally from their master?

And did you experience the love of Jesus?  Knowing full well what was ahead of Him, He put on flesh, became a man and “resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).  What awaited Him there was betrayal, pain, suffering and an undeserving death.  Oh! I mustn’t forget! Resurrection waited there as well.  The love of our God and His son, our Savior Jesus Christ was demonstrated nearly 2000 years ago and we can experience it by fully trusting in God and His plan for our reconciliation to Him.  Have you experienced God’s love and passion?

Copyright © 2004, Nolan P. Rutter

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