As Easter approaches I have been reflecting on this season of Passion. Chris is organizing a Good Friday experience for our church, his version of stations of the cross. As usual I will be heavily involved in the execution of his project. As I was thinking about the different stations representing things such as the last supper, Jesus betrayal, crucifixion, the torn curtain in the temple, etc. I wanted to draw as close to his experience as possible.
I've never watched The Passion of the Christ before, for a number of reasons. I've always wanted to at just the right time but never have. Anyway this weekend I felt the time was right and that it would even be helpful as I participated in Good Friday preparations. I started it on Saturday night. I wasn't able to finish it because it got too late and I needed to be ready to sing early Sunday morning. I actually stopped the movie right at the point he made it to Golgotha. However, what I did see has stayed with me.
How could I be anything but moved as I watched such a realistic portrayal of our Saviors suffering. Three things in particular struck me. First as I watched, I was moved by his perfect innocence, he didn't deserve a single wound. Second was his deliberate choice. Many people throughout history have died brutal deaths; some because of choices they've made, some because of the hate of others. But Jesus agony was chosen. As I saw Jesus pain depicted I was so humbled that God, who doesn't need me, who is all powerful, who deserves nothing but honor, who is above dirt and sin and pain, chose my punishment. It's too much for words. Third I was struck by my wretchedness in light of his perfection, his example of servanthood and sacrificial love. He loves me so perfectly and I in return love him so falteringly. I was struck by my hearts tendency to betray him. I was moved by my constant need for him.
If you have never seen the Passion I would encourage you to consider seeing it this Easter season, or to see it again. It's not easy to be confronted with the reality of our need for rescue and God's solution, it's brutal. But this Sunday as we took communion, I was again reminded of the command to remember. As challenging and emotional as it is to watch such a raw portrayal of our sins and his suffering I think it's a valuable opportunity as well. So, this wretched worm, desperately needing his precious blood, is taking the opportunity to remember and say thank you!