Passion of the Christ

As I thought back on The Passion of the Christ, two things kept coming to my mind—Mary, the mother of Jesus watching her son in the process of dying, and Jesus carrying the heavy cross until finally he fell under the weight. I was struck by the thought that the weight of the cross on His back did not begin to compare to the weight of our sin upon His heart.

In the movie, As I watched Mary watch Jesus, my heart was wrenched. Not only was she his earthly mother, but He was her Savior also.

There is no way that I can identify with the sufferings of my Jesus. Although thankful from the literal depths of my heart, it is still incomprehensible to me.

I can, however, identify somewhat, if in a very small measure to how Mary must have suffered watching her son and her Savior. In this analogy, I intend in no way to bring glory to Mary but to share her example with you.

In the movie as Mary is watching Jesus’ sufferings, she flashes back to a time when he was small and fell down and hurt himself. Of course, as most mothers would she runs to him to take Him in her arms and comfort Him. I thought back to a day many, many years ago when I dropped my oldest son off for his first day of kindergarten. The year was 1971. It was the height of the VietNam war. I came home, cried a million tears, sat down and wrote in his baby book about how I might as well be sending him off to Viet Nam to fight that war.

If he fell and hurt himself at kindergarten that first day, for the first time in his life, I would not be there to kiss his hurt and make it better. I would not be there to comfort him.

I thought my heart would break.

As I watched Mary’s reaction in The Passion of the Christ, I was struck with her anguished yet simple response of watching her son suffer so. She never took her eyes off of Jesus. Her attention was never turned to his persecutors or his problems, she never turned to the right nor to the left but kept her gaze steady and straight ahead on Him.

What a lesson we could all learn from that. I admit I am tempted and give in many times to look at the things Satan hurls at my children and take my eyes off of the cross of Jesus. I was reminded yesterday to keep my eyes focused on Him—not to look at circumstances, not to veer to the right nor to the left but to keep my gaze focused on Him.

When I focus on Him, I:

Worship not worry

Love not hate

Forgive, and do not let bitterness take root,

Am Peaceful, not contentious

I am more interested in my brother than I am myself

I walk in His righteousness and do not depend upon my own,

Love to give more than receive

I am content, not anxious

I am grateful, not greedy,

I am heavenly minded, rather than no earthly good

I am assured, not doubtful

I am not darkness, but rather reflect the greatest and only light that has ever come to this world, that of the Lord Jesus Christ, Our Savior. May our attention be drawn to the cross today, to the sufferings of our Lord—As an old song by Dottie Rambo goes

I will glory in the cross,
Lest his suffering all be in vain
“I will weep no more for the cross that He bore,
But I will glory in the cross

And of course we know we can glory in the cross because that is not the end of the story.

Today we celebrate not only the cross and Jesus’ sufferings but the resurrection that gives all of us hope for a future in heaven with Him.

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