I watched The Passion of The Christ last weekend, but not because I enjoy it. I felt compelled to remember the price that he paid. This time, I found myself viewing it from a new perspective.
I was struck by the wide range of people in the story, and how they seem to represent all of humanity – the good and the bad, all walks of life – and that for all of these, Jesus was willing to give his life. I saw that it includes:
- Religious leaders like the High Priest, Elders and their false witnesses – some who were misguided, acting out of fear and/or wanted him dead (they spit on him and beat him). Along with some who believed in him, like Nicodemus.
- A friend who betrayed him: Judas – Jesus fed him, washed his feet, drank with him, and let him betray him with a kiss (wow!)
- Military men, hardened soldiers who it seemed had no problem scourging and beating him, mocking and spitting on him, crushing a crown of thorns into his head
- Political leaders like Herod who was looking for a miracle, when he didn’t get what he wanted, he and his men of war mocked and despised Jesus. And Pilot who really didn’t believe he had done wrong, but he allowed himself to be bent to the “will” of those demanding crucifixion.
- An insurgent (terrorist) – a known robber, thief and murderer – he was released instead of Jesus. Isn’t it interesting that the meaning of his name, Barabbas, is “A son of the father”?
- Followers of Jesus, some faithful and some who fled or denied him out of fear – for example: Peter, John, Mary and Mary Magdalene.
- The unnamed crowd, some crying crucify him and some who probably cried Hosanna earlier that week, but thought he would be a conqueror, and when he wasn’t what they thought he should be, they turned on him. I suspect this crowd represented most of us — people who were Jews, Gentiles, young, old, rich, poor, religious and non-religious, free and slave.
Oh what an amazing love. Jesus knew he would die so that we would be be saved. He saw how they acted, how they treated him. How we’ve acted and treated him, but still He willingly gave his life for us.
But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly. And there is still so much more to say of his unfailing love for us! ~ Romans 5:8-9a TPT
Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered it’s humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2b
Scripture quotations marked TPT are from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com.