The word is often associated with zeal, emotion, or enthusiasm. Yet the word comes from the Latin (pati) meaning “to suffer.”
Years ago, when the movie The Passion of the Christ came out, I finally understood the concept of “passion”—the movie was all about suffering, pain, and agony.
As we progress through this Passion Week, in celebration of the death of Jesus Christ, we mustn’t forget the power and life that resulted from the passion. This week we don’t merely celebrate the cross and the death of Jesus … it is more about a celebration of His life and our freedom from sin and the dominion of death.
Paul declares in Colossians 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
What an amazing reality!
A.W. Tozer, in talking about Easter (Resurrection Sunday), declared:
I do not mind telling you that within me I find the Easter message and the reality of the Resurrection more beautiful and glorious than the Christmas scene.
Christmas tells us that Jesus was born; that He was born for the humiliation of suffering and death and atonement.
But Easter is the radiant and glory-filled celebration of Christ’s mighty triumph over the grave and death and hell!
When Easter comes, our voices are raised in the triumphant chorus:
The three sad days had quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead!
There is the real beauty! This is more than the beauty of color; more than the beauty of outline or form; more than the beauty of physical proportion.
In the living Christ is the perfection of all beauty; and because He lives, we too shall live in the presence of His beauty and the beauties of heaven, forever!*
Tozer goes on to talk about the power of Christ’s resurrection by saying:
Let us be confident, Christian brethren, that our power does not lie in the manger at Bethlehem nor in the relics of the Cross. True spiritual power resides in the victory of the mighty, resurrected Lord of glory, who could pronounce after spoiling death: “All power is given me in heaven and in earth.”
The power of the Christian believer lies in the Savior’s triumph of eternal glory!
Christ’s resurrection brought about a startling change of direction for the believers. Sadness and fear and mourning marked the direction of their religion before they knew that Jesus was raised from the dead—their direction was towards the grave. When they heard the angelic witness, “He is risen, as He said,” the direction immediately shifted away from the tomb—“He is risen, indeed!” If this is not the meaning of Easter, the Christian church is involved only in a shallow one-day festival each year.
Thankfully, the resurrection morning was only the beginning of a great, vast outreach that has never ended—and will not end until our Lord Jesus Christ comes back again!**
May we delight in and worship in the truth that He is risen! He is risen indeed!
*A. W. Tozer and Gerald B. Smith, Mornings with Tozer: Daily Devotional Readings (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008), entry for April 5.
**A. W. Tozer and Gerald B. Smith, Mornings with Tozer: Daily Devotional Readings (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008), entry for April 6.