Remember in 2004 the movie that came out called "The Passion of the Christ" and how we all acted like we knew full well what the word "Passion" meant in that context?
What does it mean in that context? What was the Passion of the Christ?
When we hear about 'passion' we think of feeling strongly about something, i.e. "I have a passion for sports, my wife, and cupcakes" (not necessarily in that order). That is not what is meant in this context. Passion Week is not so-named because we feel strongly about a particular week in the life of Christ.
Passion Week this year starts March 25th and takes us up to Easter, the day we remember the greatest event in all of human history - the rising of our Lord.
The term passion as it is used here, comes from Acts 1:3, which gives the account of an event after the resurrection of Jesus: "He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God" (emphasis mine). In the Latin Vulgate, a Bible translation written by Jerome in the late 4th century, 'after His suffering' is translated post passionem suam.
The Latin word passionem, where we get our word, passion, means suffering.
When we talk today about the "Passion of the Christ" we mean the "Suffering of Christ." The Passion Week, therefore, indicates a week of suffering of our Lord, which is why Passion Week technically does not include Easter.This year, I pray that Holy Week, the Passion Week, can be a time of rekindling your love for the Savior by remembering the suffering He went through for all of us.
In His suffering, we remember the greatness of our sin - that it required great suffering to pay for it.
In His suffering, we remember that His love for us is great enough that He would go through such pain and anguish for us.
What a Savior.
See you Sunday!