Summary: HOW TO RESPOND TO THE MOVIE "THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST"
HOW TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD SERIES
ALL SCRIPTURAL TEXTS ARE FROM NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
LIVE IN THE POWER OF THE CHRIST’S PASSION
1So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you are willing to suffer for Christ, you have decided to stop sinning. 2And you won’t spend the rest of your life chasing after evil desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. 3You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
4Of course, your former friends are very surprised when you no longer join them in the wicked things they do, and they say evil things about you. 5But just remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. 6That is why the Good News was preached even to those who have died—so that although their bodies were punished with death, they could still live in the spirit as God does. 1 Peter 4:1-6
When I think of the Passion of Christ, his death had been foremost in my mind. Although, Mel Gibson may not be the greatest theologian or interpreter of biblical data, his understanding of the SUFFERING of Christ is closer to reality than what my thinking had been.
I hadn’t really considered how horrible the trial and beating might have been. I had overlooked the SUFFERING of Christ as secondary or minimal. I always notice in scripture the “death” of Christ. But now I notice the term “suffering” and “death” of Christ.
I was struggling this week. I had committed to fasting and prayer, but it wasn’t going well. It seemed like I was not making any contact with God. I went to see the Passion on Thursday. In preparation for this message. I couldn’t help thinking, how Jesus went through so much for us, for me. He didn’t quit. He didn’t wimp out. And I thought, when I see the cross in it reality, there is no sin, no habit, no attitude, no possession that can keep me from serving Christ.
If I am a follower of Christ, then I must consider myself a dead man to sin, self and this world. I must live for Christ and Christ alone.
I can no longer just come to church for my needs and my pleasurable worship. I must be about those for whom Christ suffered and died.
This passage calls us to recall and meditate on the PASSION, the SUFFERING AND DEATH of Christ. And more on the SUFFERING than the DEATH. From now on, instead saying “Christ died for you.” I will have to say “Christ suffered and died for you.” The emphasis on suffering.
THE BIG QUESTION
HOW DO I RESPOND TO THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST?
1So then, since Christ suffered physical pain
The Greek word for suffer is the word pasca which is where we get the term Passion. So it is appropriate to consider how we will respond to the Mel Gibson version of the PASSION, which emphasizes Christ suffering for us.
How can we respond? How will we respond? I can think of four possible responses.