He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3-6
CHRIST’S PASSION – it’s undeniable! The incredible fervor of our Lord to carry out God’s plan of salvation is clearly displayed in these words from Isaiah. Jesus willingly endured extreme anguish, in body, mind, and spirit. Jesus suffered hell itself. And he endured all this because he was passionate. Christ was passionate in his love for mankind, passionate to make the ultimate payment for the sins of the world, passionate to free us from the power of sin, death, and the devil, passionate to open the doors of heaven to all through faith in him.
What is the Christian’s response to Christ’s passion? The Holy Spirit generates spiritual fervor and strength through the Good News of Jesus. In other words, the child of God is passionate to put God first in life. We are passionate to worship God and grow in faith through Word and Sacrament, passionate to share God’s truths in our words and actions, passionate to bring the lost and hurting to a loving Savior, passionate to serve God and his people, passionate to give God our first and best time, talents, and earthly treasures.
May the Lord give us a passion for Christ’s passion!
Staff Minister Tom Banaszak