“The Passion of the Christ” has both the religious and secular world abuzz with chatter about the less-than-wonderful details of the story of Jesus, and the movie’s focus on Christ’s passion, or suffering, may well prompt millions of people to realize just how much the perfect Savior endured for a world full of corrupt men and women.
As Christians, though, let us also seize this moment of religious awakening to ask ourselves this question: How much am I willing to suffer, what passion will I endure, for the sake of Christ?
Christ not only expects us to endure passion but also expects us to rejoice when we do. “Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).
Peter, the apostle who thrice denied Jesus as our Lord faced His passion, did not understand that teaching while Jesus lived, but the message sank in later. “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed,” Peter wrote, “because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. … [I]f anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God” (I Pet. 4:14, 16)
Lord willing, we will never face the kind of excruciating punishment and persecution imposed upon Jesus and His followers like Peter. But if that day comes, we must be prepared to take it like the Son of Man.
Filed under: Movies and Religion