This is the first blog I posted. It was originally posted on Sunday, March 7, 2004 at www.paulsponderings.blogspost.com. In June of 2006, I was frustrated with the quality of Paul’s Ponder, so I deleted all the posts and started over again, thus robbing the world of this wonderful beginning. To mark my 10 years of blogging I thought I would revise and re-post this classic blog.
“Our repentance does not move an angry and insulted God to grant us forgiveness. Rather, we are greeted by intense and passionate love that ambushes us, to which we respond in repentance. We can give our lives away to such love.” ~ Malcolm Smith; The Lost Secret of the New Covenant
I was able to see The Passion of the Christ this week. Mel Gibson has done a wonderful job at telling the story. The Passion of the Christ allows us to gain some insight into what actually happened 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem. I believe for many Christians this movie is able to help them understand the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins a little bit better.
At the end of the movie I couldn’t help but smile. The reason for the smile was not because I wanted to trivialize the pain Jesus went though, but because of the wave of emotion that washed over me. At that moment I felt love and freedom like I have never felt before. I wanted nothing more than to go home and sing and dance (well at least dance the little dance I do when Iowa wins a big game).
For two hours the movie tried to depict the fear, betrayal, rejection, mocking, beating, and crucifixion that Jesus endured. At the end I couldn’t help but feel happy and alive. The reason for my happy feeling was captured in the final moments of the film. The moment of resurrection.
It is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead which gave His death power. It is the resurrection of Jesus which provides us hope. The resurrection of Jesus makes all the difference in the world! (Tweet this)
The Apostle Paul wrote:
And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. (1 Corinthians 15:17-19; NLT).
It is not the death of Jesus, but His resurrection that is the foundation of Christianity.
Jesus’ death was necessary, and without His shed blood there would be no atonement for our sins. Yes, it is tragic to see an innocent man beat, whipped, and killed. It should bring sadness to our hearts to realize that it was our sin which caused the pain Jesus suffered. This means we need to treat Jesus’ death with reverence as we remember the sacrifice that He made for us. To do anything less would be to treat His precious blood in an unworthy manner.
The point I want to make is this: Jesus doesn’t want us to be saddened by His death, but He wants us to find joy in His resurrection. Jesus said, ‘You have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy’(John 16:22; NLT).
If all we do is focus on Jesus’ death, then we have missed the bigger picture. Jesus wants us to find redemption in His death, but He wants us to find life in His resurrection.
I am so glad Mel Gibson put the resurrection in The Passion of the Christ, because the story is not complete without it. It is the resurrection which that really makes the difference in our lives. Discover joy in the Christ who was crucified, and then rose from the dead.
Wild at Heart;
1 Samuel 14:6