“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free …”
If you have seen Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” maybe you are wondering what is the point of portraying this sacrifice?
It is for freedom.
That’s the same freedom our founding fathers knew, embraced and sacrificed for — freedom that was not known by many of the religious leaders in history who were half-hearted seekers torn by self interests.
If you enjoy any freedom on the Earth today, the probability is strong you have it because of the freeing truth of Christ and the sacrifice he made to bring this way of truth. It is because of his spirit there is any goodness, kindness, love, joy, patience, peace, gentleness, faithfulness or self control in the world.
The overriding and permeating reason for Jesus’ sacrifice was love — love like no one had known before.
That’s a love that would not flinch at the blood thirst that entrenched the culture of Jesus’ day — love that flew in the face of everything they had come to know and believed to be true, even right. That’s the love that freed them from more than the oppression of the Roman government. It freed them from their own sinful, darkened hearts.
The Lord always went beyond the letter of the law to the heart of the matter. He said if you hate your brother, you have murder in your heart. He said if you lust after someone, you have committed adultery in your heart. What he has always been after, after all, was our hearts.
His love goes beyond all creeds, all codes, all legalism to the heart of the matter. It will liberate us from any way that does not bring glory and honor to him. His passion was and is for us. He was so wildly crazy about us, his children, that he paid the price of love.
Jesus laid down his life for his friends, so we could be with him. He said, “Where I am there you may be also.”
As a believer, I have come to know this same passion that is all-consuming. I have come to know this love that embraces all people for all time and extends to them the question:
“This is what Jesus did for you. What then will you do with him?”
If this Gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who refuse him.
Jesus went about doing good. The world has been a better place because of the way he showed us how to live. It is not by coincidence that most hospitals bear the name of some martyred Apostle or some Christian denomination.
He showed us first how to live, how to die and how he —who is the Resurrection and the life — would resurrect us to eternal life.
Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” attempted to explore the depths of the sacrifice Jesus made.
“The Passion of the Christ” is more than a movie. It is what holds the universe together so that we are not dashed to star dust. It is the substance of Jesus’ unfailing, undying love.
Sabrina Farmer is a Clovis resident. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org