The Joy and the Suffering of Jesus
Passion… what’s your passion? We often associate passion with the things that bring us joy, bring us meaning, bring us purpose. But the latin root for the word passion is “passio,” which means “suffering.”
This Passion Week, which finds its culmination at the cross and its exclamation at the empty grave, is fundamentally about the suffering of Christ. Yet, this passion, this suffering, is a good passion. The suffering of Jesus, which we focus on tonight, was not vain or meaningless. It had a purpose, and that purpose provided joy in the middle of pain. The author of Hebrews puts it this way…
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3
For the joy set before Him… Jesus grappled in prayer in Gethsemane
For the joy set before Him… Jesus walked the via dolorosa
For the joy set before Him… Jesus climbed the hill of calvary
For the joy set before Him… Jesus endured the cross of a criminal
For the joy set before Him… Jesus scorned the shame of our sin.
For the joy set before Him… Jesus endured the opposition of sinners.
So, we share in his suffering, but we also share in His joy. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Let us consider the sacrifice of our Savior. Let us not grow weary and lose heart. For there is a joy that is set before you, and before me. This is our Good Friday… this is our Good Passion… because Sunday is coming…. Because death is defeated… Because sin has lost its power… Because Jesus is on the throne! This was His Good Passion.
What’s your good passion?