Billy Holland | The passion of Christ is our eternal hope
This is the time of year when Christians remember the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a season when His followers are focused on how He suffered and died on the cross and after three days He arose from the grave. To be honest, holy week is not really a jolly time of celebration but rather calls for serious meditation and being grateful for the gift of salvation. It is bittersweet, because it’s never pleasant to imagine a person being brutally tortured — especially when they are innocent — but the fact that Jesus miraculously came back to life, is a demonstration of His infinite power and authority and why we are so filled with humility and encouragement. Jesus Christ did not just talk about love, He demonstrated His passion by suffering and surrendering His life so that we could live.
He was betrayed and denied by those He trusted. The religious community rejected His message and the legal system, along with the demands from the general population, overwhelmingly agreed to publicly execute Him without a reason other than they hated Him. Sadly, things have not really changed that much.
We notice that He was constantly approached by those in desperate need and it was His character to be concerned and compassionate. The world has always been filled with human suffering and He is always ready to respond in love and mercy. Being emotional and even knowledgeable about the Bible is fine but that does not necessarily mean that someone is following Christ. It is what they do with what they have learned that transforms emotions into spiritual obedience. When we see someone who needs help or even an encouraging word, what good does it do to just look at them with pity? Christ was always ministering to those who would reach out to Him by faith and two thousand years later He is still pouring out His grace and forgiveness to anyone that will call upon His name.
As His followers, we have been called to focus our attention on becoming more like Him in spite of a troubled world that justifies walking over the wounded and being self-centered. His command to take up our cross includes letting go of our natural way of selfish thinking and to willingly embrace the empathy of heaven. It seems the more I learn about His life, the more I can sense what was being felt by those who knew Him. As we meditate on His message we are given a deeper understanding of who He is, and what He wants to do through us. The reverential fear and awareness of who Jesus is and why He came is our hope for heaven and it is now our responsibility to keep our spiritual eyes focused on our mission. Beyond the new clothes and the Easter festivities, may we spend some time focusing on the one that loves us and came to save us from our ourselves.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author and community outreach chaplain. Request a free copy of his new CD at billyhollandministries.com.