Present to the Passion

Matthew 27:26-31

It is hard for me to read the story of the events leading up to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. At some point in my life, I told myself that I could no longer just read the words, but rather I needed to imagine them. I think this transition took place at around the same time as Mel Gibson’s film, “the Passion of the Christ” came out in theatres. For those of you who remember, at the time it was almost expected that Christians would go to see this movie. I didn’t want to see the movie, because I said that if Jesus was crucified today, I wouldn’t be in attendance.

When we think about what happened to Jesus Christ, it can be so easy to be desensitized. We watch violent movies and our everyday news includes horrific images from around the world. But the passion of Jesus Christ was not a movie and it is not an image on television. Christ’s passion was and continues to be a reality. Jesus Christ really was tortured and deserted by his friends.

It is so easy to move forward to the resurrection, but sometime, at least during the season of Lent, perhaps we should take some time to be present in the passion. To read the story slowly and to really think about what happened. What if we had been there?

Lord Jesus, help me to not turn away from your suffering, but rather to read, listen, and learn from it.

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