Summary: This sermon looks at the script God wrote for our redemption. Based on the viewing of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ".
The Drama of Redemption
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
One of the captivating things about the “Passion of the Christ” was how it unfolded in such dramatic fashion. Many times as we read the scriptures we see the story of Christ and His crucifixion told from many different viewpoints. This disjointed account is much like interrogating witnesses to a crime. Each individual has a different perspective and possibly a different motive in telling their side of the story. For instance, Matthew tells the story of Christ as the “fulfillment” of God’s eternal plan and purpose.
Mark seems to have an anxious spirit in telling us the “Good News” of Jesus Christ.
Luke shows us how those of us on the “outside” are now “in” because of Christ. He has opened the door that all of us may be found welcome by God.
John’s gospel shows us the human side of the Savior. He is preoccupied with letting us know that God loved us so much, that He sent His Son to be our Redemption.
With the accounts of Christ spread across such a large cast of characters, it is difficult for us to comprehend the immensity of God’s love and the savagery of Christ’s crucifixion. So it is that Mel Gibson’s movie pulls the many accounts together to let us see it in perhaps the most graphic drama we’ve ever seen. Tonight, let’s examine the Drama of Redemption.
I. The script was written before time.
II. The players performed their parts perfectly
a. Disciples – a bunch of misfits overcome by egos, narrow mindedness and a lack of faith. Yet Jesus used them the start the church. They were an unlikely lot. When we look in the mirror – how are we any different?
b. Pharisees & Sadducees – The antagonists of the drama. Full of themselves and their religiosity, they were jealous, fearful, and self-serving.
c. Judas – The betrayer. Judas was the catalyst for the sordid events of the Passion Week. He was such a contradiction. A disciple, yet his heart was filled with greed. His love of money and self was his undoing. It opened the way for Satan to enter his heart.
d. Pilate – Used to playing the crowd, he was theatric in his words and deeds. After trying to persuade the angry mob to let Christ go free, he dramatically washes his hands before the crowd to demonstrate that he wasn’t going to take responsibility for what happened. He could no more wash his hands of Jesus than we can. Once you know of the Savior you must decide what you will do with Him.
e. Herod – The comedy portion of the drama, He was a joke of a ruler. A puppet of Rome and more interested in his own pleasure than the condition of the Jews. Herod wouldn’t take Jesus and the case seriously, and passed it back to Pilate.
f. Roman soldiers – supporting players to the whim of Caesar and the governor, they carried out the orders to punish and mutilate Jesus. They obediently nailed His hands and feet to the cross.
g. Mary – She could have tried to intercede on Christ’s behalf, but she had stored all the things that had happened up to that point in her heart and she knew as did Jesus, that this was to fulfill God’s purpose. Traumatic? Yes. Heart wrenching? Yes. Yet she watched her Son be about the Father’s business as she had done so many times before.
h. Simon of Cyrene – this bit walk-on cameo role was worthy of mention in the Gospels. This simple man from Cyrene played a non-speaking part that demonstrates to us that figuratively, we too are to pick up the cross and follow Christ.
i. Jesus – No one took His life, He willingly laid it down for us. Jesus could have called legions of angels to His rescue, but chose to go all the way to Calvary.