It is holy week! Or as Ann Voskamp has been calling it, Passion week. I think that one is my favorite. Yes it is a holy week, but it was His passion for us that took Him to the cross! It was His passion that made Him want to take on all our shame and sin so that we would be held back by those things no longer. It was because of passion that He was beat and stripped and mocked and hung on a cross to die. It was for passion and for glory, because in the end what brings more glory to God than when His son won’t and can’t stay dead. What brings more glory than when on the third day He rises, because even Death couldn’t hold Him.Victory over sin, victory over death. Those are the things that this week of passion celebrates. And I am grateful. So so grateful.
He died, willingly, a horrible, painful, and degrading death. He hung on a cross like a criminal. People whipped Him and mocked Him and placed a crown of thorns on His perfect head. He never fought back, His love for us never wavered. He could have made it all end, He didn’t have to endure it, but at the same time He knew He did have to endure it. Not because He couldn’t free Himself, but because He loved us and He knew that this was the only way. A perfect sacrifice to cover our sins.
I’m not sure words exist that will properly describe what this means to me and for me. That the savior of the world would die for me is just incredible and difficult to grasp. In my devotions I’ve been reading through John with some other women over at IF:Equip, and we are currently at the crucifixion. And in church we are going through Mark, and last Sunday we read about the crucifixion. To read about the agony of our God is agonizing for me! My heart hurts as I read about the pain and the mocking and hatred. Why God? Why would you do this for me? I sin against you, I am so unworthy of the gift you give… and yet… you so freely give it. Without fighting or defending, you go and suffer and die. And I am broken because I did that to you! It is because of me that you hung on that cross. It is because of me. And yet…for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. The joy. That jumps out to me. Who or what was that joy? We are. We were. With the knowledge that we would be free to live in community with Him, He endured the cross. Knowing that His death would bring our freedom, He endured the cross. CRAZY!! It is for me (and you) that He could hang on that cross and look past it with joy. To know and live in that love and that joy produces freedom and thanksgiving. He hung on the cross because of me, for me, because He loved me. And you. And us. He died, and the veil was torn from top to bottom to symbolize that God no longer needs to separate Himself from us. His son died to make us righteous, and righteous we have become. It is because of passion and the ultimate, perfect sacrifice that we are set free from the chains of sin. It is because of passion and sacrifice that the veil was torn.
But that wasn’t the end. Oh my sweet friends, I’m so glad it wasn’t. On Sunday we will celebrate and rejoice, but that isn’t because of your death Jesus. It is because you defeated it! Not even the sting of death could hold You. In three days you rose. You died for our sins and rose so that we might live! And live we will. Through the freedom that your death and resurrection brings may we throw off the sins that so easily entangle and ensnare. Let us run with endurance the race set before us. And let us never forget the death that bought our freedom. The sacrifice that made us clean. May our hearts break over our sin and rejoice over the resurrection that freed us from it!