Yesterday, the Christian world began Passion Week or as is called by some, Holy Week. The celebration of Palm Sunday begins in remembrance of this last week on earth for Jesus, the Christ. It began with a triumphal entry into Jerusalem, with resounding accolades from a great host of people. It ended with a cruel and painful death by crucifixion on Friday, ironically called Good Friday. Why has it come to be called Passion Week? While we may conjure up various thoughts regarding the word passion in our modern culture, the word itself derives from the Latin root word, patior, which means to suffer. Suffering most aptly describes that last week Jesus lived.
Jesus was very God and very man. This means that He knew what fate He would encounter. Imagine going through the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey, with shouts of HOSANA and palm branches being strewn all about, only to know that those same people in a few days would cry out, "crucify Him!" On Thursday, as he sat with HIs disciples for a meal, He sat with the one who had betrayed him to Roman soldiers for thirty pieces of silver. And even those other disciples He knew would all forsake Him before it was over.
What did it take for Jesus to walk through this week – it took passion! Psalm 69:9 says,
Passion for your house has consumed me,
and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. Psalm 69:9 (NLT)
Jesus was known as compassionate, but He had to first have "passion". He had to be so thoroughly committed to what He came to earth for, that nothing could deter Him from His mission.
In John the second chapter we read of HIs passion:
16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, "Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!"
The scene was the house of God overrun with merchants selling overpriced goods to satisfy the sacrificial requirements of the law. When Jesus was overcome with the mockery and injustice of it all, passion consumed Him. It was for this cause God sent Jesus at the appointed time. God was overcome with the mockery and injustice of this world, bringing heartless sacrifices to Him, while living a life that spoke contrary. God, decided to bring a worthy sacrifice, a lamb without spot or blemish inside and out! He sent the only One who could satisfy all the requirements of the law, His Son, Jesus. And He did not just send Him, He equipped Him with all the love He could contain and a "passion" to do all that needed to be done for the salvation of mankind.
As you walk through this week, begin to think of what lengths God went to – because He loves you:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)