But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:4-7
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10
Passion. What does this word REALLY mean? Has our culture twisted its meaning? The word passion in the Greek is pathema and it means to suffer! The full definition according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is, “that which befalls one, the capacity and the PRIVILEGE to feel strong emotion like suffering. It prepares us to know the Lord.” WHAT?? Passion is not the feel all goose bumpy, emotional high, filled with physical sensations robbing us of our minds? According to Scripture, NOT ONE BIT! Passion is a love so deep it is willing to suffer for another, even when the suffering ends in death.
The nation of Israel has long expected a Messiah. A Savior to come rescue them from oppression. Their focus was the prophesied king, not the suffering servant. They wanted relief not rescue. They desired revenge not restoration. They were only interested in the here and now, not eternity. Not much has changed in two thousand years. I, all to often want relief, revenge, and something for right now because I am so short-sighted. I don’t give much thought to what it will cost another: I act like salvation, restoration, and eternity is just a genie in a bottle.
On the night prior to Jesus suffering he made a statement we must ponder: Luke 22:15 records what Christ saw as vital. Read it slowly…………
“And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.”
This is the last meal before the executioner’s whip and nails. What king do you know who LONGS to spend time with you before they die so you can be set free? This is the exchange. One free man comes to the prison to eat dinner with you and will then take your place leaving the keys to your prison door for you to open and walk out forever free and with a new identity. The Son of God becomes a sacrifice and you become an adopted son of God! Let this soak in for just a minute. A new birth certificate. A relocation program complete with a new home, a clean slate, wealth at your disposal, and freedom to come and go, no longer held in chains.
Jesus told a story of a pearl worth a fortune. (Matthew 13:45-46) You are the pearl in the story. He gave up everything for you. He believes you are worth the sacrifice of giving up all He had so you can go back to the Garden to reclaim all you had before all mankind was sent away. (Genesis 3:23-24) Jesus was God’s promise to Eve (Genesis 3:15) before they left the Garden where they had walked and talked with God. This is true passion. A willingness to suffer and consider it a privilege! Who do you love enough to willingly suffer for and consider it a privilege? Have they accepted Christ’s gift? Have you been passionate in prayer for them?
Everything in Scripture is about how God orchestrated this great exchange. (Psalm 33:11) This is the passion of God, the passion of Christ: The Love for Man. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9
Jesus will march deliberately toward the cross for you. Considering it a privilege! Will you passionately (even if it requires suffering) follow Him? He died for all. Each individual must decide to accept or reject the gift.
Passion-Glorious Day, by Kristian Stanfill