Our Pattern, His Purpose in the Passion

The passion of Christ was directed by the Father’s will and resulted in a life whose purpose was the cross (Jn 12:27). Jesus was dedicated to accomplish the requirements foretold by prophecies and the will of the Father. Jesus expected to accomplish the exact plan of the Father. In John 6:14-15, a crowd tried to make Jesus a king by force, but he rejected their attempt because it would have deviated from the cross. The final words of Jesus from the cross were a triumphant proclamation. Like a runner crossing the finish line in agony, yet with great emotion in overcoming obstacles, Jesus says “It is finished!” (Jn 19:30) The passion of Christ originated in love, was directed by the purpose of God and was lived in dependence on the presence of God. Jesus declared that every word that he said was given to him by the Father who commanded him what to say and how to say it (Jn 12:49). In order for this to happen, Jesus lived every moment in the presence of the Father. Every thought, word and action of Jesus was given to him by the Father (Jn 14:31).

The life of Christ has set a pattern of self-sacrifice for living a passionate life for God. Believers in Jesus experience a spiritual birth that results in the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:3; 1 Cor. 6:19). Therefore, believers have everything needed to live a passionate life for Christ. Why then are there so few passionate Christians? The answer is in the fact that few Christians really follow the pattern of Christ’s self-sacrificial life. Above everything else is the importance of building a relationship in love with Jesus. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This is a lofty command but one that is critical for believers to attain. The love of Jesus is the most precious, personal and intense of relationships. Believers must learn to live in daily dependence on Jesus, seeking his will and experiencing his presence. This begins with setting thoughts on God. Proverbs 23:7 says that what we think about defines us. God says that we believers are to set our minds on what is pure, lovely, excellent and praiseworthy and God will be with us (Php. 4:8-9). It may not be possible to do this at all times, but the key is to find the places, ways and times where God is presently experienced and build on these. The more God is experienced, the more our mind will dwell on him and with him. This produces ever increasing praise, worship and thoughts of God that translate into actions that express love for Him and produce works of thankfulness towards Him and indeed honors Him.

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