Thursday, March 04, 2004

What the Passion meant to me, since everyone is sharing. It took a long time to come up with this. There is probably more, but this is a start:

My overwhelming impression in seeing this movie was in four areas:

1. The cross was a voluntary act on Christ's part, and the movie summarized for me what He did to redeem me. What it took, what was necessary, and what He was willing to do. I kept thinking, "They don't know that is God they are beating and spitting on." But He did. He knew that some of the people doing it to Him were people He was going to pay for. And yet He still did it.

I realized because of that how unworthy I am to even stand in my Lord's presence.

2. The cross was a place Christ had to get to. This has spawned lots of theological discussion about the Satan figure in the garden. Was his point to keep Him from the cross? No, because he inhabited Judas and had Christ betrayed. So Satan intended for Jesus to go to the cross, but apparently did not know that the act would prove his downfall. To me the emotional struggle at the beginning was as telling as the physical struggles. And the physical isn't even the worst of what Christ suffered, the worst being forsaken by God. But He kept going. He kept getting up again. He endured the beating because He had to get to the cross. He was singleminded in fulfilling His purpose. And again, He did whatever it took.

3. Fill in this sentence: Christ did what He did on the cross so I could _________.

Before I saw this movie I thought the answer was "be free." And I do still believe that, of course, but that is a bit of missing the point on my part. Because of course, Christ did this so that I could live.

It bears repeating that the answer to the blank is not "doubt," or "sin," or "ignore Him," all of which have also passed through my mind.

4. The blood. So much blood. How is it that scripture can say we are "washed" in His blood? That is a logical impossibility. Blood stains things, it doesn't clean them. Yet that blood that was spilled, sprayed on the faces of the guards, pooled on the ground, is both my cleansing and my sanctification. I am set apart by God through the shedding of that blood. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." Well, did I think just the few drops spilled by the nails was what God meant? So much blood.

And really, if you think about it, so much forgiveness.

That's my take.


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