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Summary: Part Three of our series entitled “the Passion of the Christ: Curious? Find out more!” Violence of the Bertuzzi sucker-punch and the Madrid bombings and the violence of the cross says a lot about God and us.

Why focus on the violence of the cross?

13 See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. 14 Many were amazed when they saw him—beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know he was a person. 15 And he will again startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not previously been told about; they will understand what they had not heard about.

53 Who has believed our message? To whom will the LORD reveal his saving power? 2 My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. 3 He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.

4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! 5 But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! 6 All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us all.

7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins—that he was suffering their punishment? 9 He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.

10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s plan will prosper in his hands. 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. 12 I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners.

Is.52-53 (NLT)

Glad u are here for Part 3 of our series, “the Passion of the Christ: Curious? Find out more!” I would like us to key into a part of the Bible, people like me, I would say generally skip over. Don’t dwell on the suffering and violence of the cross. It seems so Catholic to do it. Baptist don’t do that, right? Just go to the part about the resurrection. Even Mel Gibson’s critics can’t get pass the violence of the movie The Passion of the Christ. They too say it was too much to dwell on that alone and not the bigger story of Jesus’ life and ministry. Why focus on the violent death scene? Why the Morbid fascination on the lamb to the slaughter???

But it is also the talk of our city. All of this past week, our city’s headlines are screaming about one thing - Violence! First, it was about hockey violence. Then it was the Madrid bombings. Yesterday, we hear of another big story from Fresno, California, another case of mass murder, perhaps nine people killed by one man. Are you just not sick of hearing all this? I don’t think many of us can’t stand it, stomach it , or take it. Reactions of people regarding the Madrid bombings, with demonstrations denouncing it, and hockey fans too calling for Bertuzzi’s punishment to be severe, the reaction of cops in that Fresno mass murder, where veterans are asking for counselling: Horrible! Why now dwell on death and suffering, why does Mel Gibson want people to see that? Isn’t it enough already, with the real world’s suffering, why watch another violent gore-filled movie? Let’s talk nice… But really, is the world nice?

A. PART OF OUR LIVES

God knows we live in real world of violence, of paybacks, of revenge, blood letting. Nice world? As one sports commentator said this in USAToday.com: “The raw brutality of Todd Bertuzzi’s assault on Steve Moore this week was bad enough, along with the apologists excusing Bertuzzi as a victim, Moore’s broken neck, and the eye-for-an-eye nature of it all. Just don’t call it an unfamiliar picture that has come out of nowhere. Hockey’s culture of violence extends far back to the game’s earliest days, and try as anyone might, little has been done to change it.” That culture of violence is not in hockey, it is in other sports as well. Every summer basebrawl happens, as one guy gets hit by a pitch, the dugouts empty. Remember the Tonya Harding case where she sent people to beat up Nancy Kerrigan and that’s in figure skating. Yesterday, in grades 8-9 kids basketball, violence was brewing notjust among players but among parents too.

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