What is your passion in life? Why does your faith journey in Christ sometimes feel like a burden more than a passion?
The word “passion” has some interesting meaning attached to it. It is unusual in that it is comprised of opposite meanings. One definition involves being moved by inner excitement and enthusiasm. Another is suffering that comes from being acted on by external forces.
We have all heard stories of an athlete, entertainer, teacher, entrepreneur, even a friend or parent describe the early years of their lives as a bit disjointed, even directionless. An unsettled home life, being out of sync at school, or their first job was not what they envisioned and they struggled to feel connected, on track, in their sweet spot. They had not yet found what they were really made for, but once they did, the pieces started to fall in place.
Life was nothing until they found something that captured their heart, mind, and strength. A turn around happened when they discovered a passion in or for life. Suddenly, their motivation was boundless, the air they breathed was fresher, their vision clearer, and they had something worth living for. That changed everything. Stories of achievement, overcoming obstacles like family history, poor choices, even pain and illness reverberate as turning points.
Read Mark 15:21-39.
Ever wonder* why the writers of the New Testament Gospels called the last week of Jesus’ life the Passion Week? During the days between the Jewish Passover and Easter, it is common for followers of Christ to think about and reflect on the sufferings of our Lord and Savior: His steadfast determination to obey the will of His Father; His tears for Jerusalem; His prayer of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane; the arrest, insults, abuse, degradation, and humiliation He was subjected to prior to His crucifixion; the actual (and unimaginable) physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain He experienced as He bore the sins of the world on the cross.
But Passion Week* in the Christian calendar also reveals the inner fire that motivated Jesus to fulfill his destiny by walking directly towards Calvary, the eventual place of His death (and resurrection). He knew exactly what lay ahead as he and his motley crew of disciples headed toward Jerusalem in all four Gospel accounts. Even if Dr. Luke had never written down the words Jesus uttered one day, “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10), people would have recognized that focus and purpose by what He actually did.
They saw His battered and beaten body nailed to a cross. Mockers told Him to come down from the cross and save Himself – if he was truly God. But they missed the reason He was up there in the first place. They did not pay attention to Old Testament prophecies about “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Ignoring their taunts, Jesus saved everyone by staying on the cross…everyone but Himself.
Passion Week* reveals the heart and soul of King Jesus. It should shine a spotlight into our heart as well. How would our lives change if we were motivated and energized by the life of Christ within us? Hint: Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. Serve globally. We work to reconcile students to Christ to transform the university, marketplace, and world. So be passionate about Jesus!
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz