Passion Stories/Passion Story

March 24th, 2013 Posted in writing

The story of the passion and death of Jesus contains several other stories besides what happened to Jesus. For one, there is the story of the loyalty and compassion his women followers showed Jesus in staying close to him throughout his carrying of the cross and his death on Calvary. In contrast, there’s the story of the fear and disloyalty of the twelve apostles, one of whom had betrayed him to the authorities while the rest of them fled at his arrest or denied even knowing him.

There’s also the story of the cynical decision by the high priest and his council to sacrifice Jesus for “the good of the nation” and the cowardly choice of Pilate to condemn him even though he knew perfectly well he had done nothing deserving death. Lastly, there’s the story of the crowd, which was so fickle that it welcomed Jesus ecstatically on Sunday only to cry for his blood five days later.

All of these are folded into the story of the passion and death of Jesus. But standing above them all is the story of great love — the love of God the Father for us (John 3), the love of Christ for his Father (John 14) and the love of Jesus for his friends (John 15). It is this overarching story that makes the story of Jesus’ passion and death fundamentally a love story.

This Holy Week, read one of the passion narratives from Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. See if you can detect the love revealed there. Then ask yourself, “How might I respond to that love?”

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