I knew the story of the passion of Jesus and Good Friday long before I first saw The Passion of the Christ. I knew what was going to happen; I had read the very words of Scripture and imagined it in my own head. The Passion would be one of those movies where I’d put my hands over my eyes and watch through my fingers, with tense muscles, wincing through each harsh word, immense mistreatment, and gruesome battering.
But I knew I needed to see it. I needed the visual remind of Jesus’ passion, the cross, and my personal human connection to it. So I watched The Passion on Good Friday one year and it was as intense as I thought it would be. And it certainly renewed my gratitude and awe for what Jesus did for me on the cross that day. But I didn’t truly understand how the cross of Jesus was of profound personal importance to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew the cross was Jesus’ plan for taking on all our sin. He endured the punishment for sin at the cross and defeated the power of death when He came back to life three days later. That’s the Gospel and I believe it wholeheartedly. But I didn’t realize the depth of Jesus’ experience with mankind and how important it was to me personally until I was sitting in a college class a few years later…[continue reading]