Pursue The Passion
A Devotional Based on the film The Passion of the Christ
“Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
- Matthew 26:53-54 NIV
Pursue The Passion is a seven-day digital study based on the life of Christ and His Crucifixion. Through film, scripture and discussion questions, it is designed to inspire reflection on our life purpose and how to use our talents to further the Kingdom of God. When we focus on Jesus’ plan for our lives and follow His will, then our purpose becomes more clear. Jesus is the ultimate example of this, and we will see this demonstrated in the film, The Passion of the Christ.
Why tell The Passion Of Christ? Like Mel Gibson so perfectly stated, “I wanted the effort to be a testament to the infinite love of Jesus the Christ, which has saved, and continues to save, many the world over.” He also shares about the words that guided his storytelling, truth and Aletheia, meaning “unforgetting.”
We must never forget what Christ did for us. As each one of us moves through our “Pursuit of the Passion for Jesus Christ,” we also must seek truth and never forget that He came to fulfill the scriptures, to crush evil and give EVERYONE who calls on His name, everlasting life. This is the Passion of the Christ.
“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’” - Luke 9:23 NIV
Watch the video before you begin.
WHAT WE SEE IN THE FILM
“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.” - Isaiah 53:5 NIV. Preparation for Jesus began before His birth. Just like for you and I, God knew us before we were born and has placed into all of us a purpose, which ultimately will be to glorify Him. Since the fall in Genesis, when we were separated from God, He gave the ultimate sacrifice, His Son, Jesus Christ who would stand ready and willing to die on the cross and take on the sins of the world in order for us to spend eternity with him.
JESUS PREPARES: There is a preparation process for all of us that are walking towards and in our purpose. In Matthew 26:12 a woman with an alabaster vial (very expensive perfume) enters the picture to anoint Jesus. He tells His disciples that the oil is preparation for his burial. After His anointing, Jesus celebrates Passover with His disciples, commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. We see this in a flashback within the film. During the celebration of the Passover, Jesus sits with the disciples and performs Holy communion, Matthew 26:26-28. Soon after the communion, it says “When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” - Matthew 26:30 NIV.
Then Jesus, with His three closest disciples, make their way to Gethsemane. Before leaving the three men, Jesus tells them to pray and be on alert. Jesus then goes a little ways from them and begins to pray Himself. This is the opening scene of “The Passion of the Christ.” It says in Matthew 26:39 NIV, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus asked that the cup would be taken from Him, but ultimately He knew His purpose and the end goal. Even when Pontius Pilate pulled Jesus aside to talk to Him alone, Jesus knew His purpose and didn't persuade Pilate to let Him go. By picking up His cross, Jesus was doing the will of the Father.
PURSUE THE PASSION: How do we prepare ourselves to follow our passion? Preparation is a process we go through to step into our purpose and carry our cross. But what exactly does it mean to carry our cross? Jesus had both a literal and figurative cross. The literal cross was the crucifixion itself, but the figurative cross was Jesus completing His purpose, taking the sin of the world upon Himself so that each and every one of us could spend eternal life with Him, holy and blameless. You might say, “Well that’s Jesus, but how do I know how to prepare if I don’t know what my purpose is or what the cross looks like that I must carry?” So many of us are trying to find “our purpose.” We begin looking everywhere and to everyone for the answer, but truly the only one that has the answer is Jesus.