Summary: Third is a five week series. I trust this series will help us gain a new appreciation for who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us.
The Passion of Christ
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Christ’s passion was to complete the work of obedience to the Father and love toward us. There were many individuals who tried to thwart God’s redemptive plan by attempting to cause Jesus to bypass the cross for an easier plan.
Who tried to stop Jesus from going to Calvary?
I. Satan –Luke 4:5-8
(Luke 4:5-8) And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Here we find Satan promising to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would simply fall down and worship him. This temptation was actually an attempt by Satan to get Jesus to bypass the cross of Calvary. Heb. 2:9-10 tell us that every knee shall bow to Christ and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It also tells us that the reason for this is that Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to the plan of Salvation even in His death. If Satan had succeeded in getting Christ to bow to him, there would be no Salvation for sinners. There would have been no Calvary, no resurrection, and no hope for a lost world. Thank God Jesus stayed focused on His reason for coming to earth. He stayed focused on His passion—to redeem the souls of all humankind.
II. Peter –Matt. 16:21-23
(Matthew 16:21-23) From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Peter and the other disciples had great expectations that Jesus would soon overthrow the Roman government and set up a kingdom of His own. When Jesus began to talk about His death, this startled the disciples. Peter spoke up and began to rebuke Jesus saying, “No this will never happen to you.”
Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan.” He pointed out that Peter’s passion was earthly and not of God. Peter’s passion was to have a part in ruling an earthly kingdom. Jesus’ passion was to go to the cross to redeem the souls of sinners.
III. Religious Leaders –Matt. 27:41-43
(Matthew 27:41-43) Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
Here we find the religious leaders mocking Jesus as He hangs upon the cross. They are saying that if Jesus is so powerful he should be able to save Himself from the cross. What they did not know was the fact that Jesus could have easily escaped the cross, but because of His passion to save sinners, he laid down his life on the cross. He refused to bypass Calvary. He knew it was all part of the plan to bring salvation to lost humanity.
IV. The thief on the cross –Luke 23:39
(Luke 23:39) And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
Jesus was crucified between to criminals. As they hung there on those three crosses, one of the criminals began to bitterly say, “If you are really the Christ, then save yourself and save us from these crosses.” Jesus had to power to do just that. The Bible says he could have called twelve legions of angels from Heaven and escaped all of the suffering and all of the pain of Calvary. He was focused once again upon His passion to save the lost.
Why was Jesus so passionate about going to the cross?
I. Jesus was passionate about going to the cross because our sin was exceedingly sinful.