See, my servant will prosper; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him–his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—so he will amaze many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. Isaiah 52:13-15
How would you define passion? Do you think of it as a negative or a positive word? Passion describes both good and bad emotions. These are the deepest, most intense feelings we can have, such as passionate love or passionate anger.
Christians call the week concluding with Easter—Passion Week. The suffering Jesus endured on the cross is called “The Passion of Christ” because of the magnitude of his agony.
The intense suffering Jesus endured on the cross is beyond our comprehension. I remember reading an article in which a doctor described what happened to a person during crucifixion. I couldn’t sleep that night; I was so filled with vivid images of what my Savior had suffered. It’s a brutal, excruciating way to die.
Jesus suffered not only physical cruelty; he also suffered mental torment. Jesus had never before known separation from the Father, but as Jesus bore the sins of the whole world, the Father turned his back on his son. The most passionate rage you’ve ever seen is nothing compared to God’s anger at sin. We hear Jesus’s anguished cry of abandonment, “My God (not My Father as Jesus usually addressed him), My God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) God had turned his back; His holiness could not look on sin.
But the Passion of the cross also reminds us of the good meanings of the word passion. God’s love was present as well as his wrath. Just before Jesus died, he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He then called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46, emphasis added). Once the sin penalty had been paid, the Father and Son’s fellowship was restored.
We know God’s wrath was satisfied because Jesus rose from the dead. He had paid the penalty for sin through his suffering and death. Only a sinless person could pay that price as a perfect sacrifice and live to tell about it (Romans 6:23).
Isaiah said “After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities” (53:11). He suffered for our sake, to bear iniquities and justify those who would believe.
Do you believe this?
Read Isaiah 52:13-14. What two extremes describe the Suffering Servant of God?
Read John 3:16-21. why did God send his Son to die? What do these verses say about those who do not choose to believe in Jesus?
What reason is given for Jesus’s death and resurrection in Luke 24:46-47?
Nancy J. Baker
Prepare your heart for Easter with our 50-day devotional, Restore the Hope: Devotions for Lent and Easter: https://www.amazon.com/dp/179306086X. This devotion is part of that collection.