As you read the words ‘The Passion of Christ’, what thoughts and images come to your mind? According to the dictionary, The Passion refers to ‘the sufferings of Christ subsequent to the Last Supper and on the Cross’. Many films have been made and books written in an attempt to provide an insight into the unspeakable and indescribable sufferings endured by Christ on the cross. Let us, here, navigate through the original source—the Bible.

The sufferings of Christ culminated at “the place, which is called Calvary”. This was the greatest event to ever take place in the history of this world. An event that was planned by God in the past, before creation, (I Peter 1:20) and which continues to change the lives of millions on earth. In the future it will be the theme of the song in Heaven forever. (Revelation 5:9)

Those sufferings

“Then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him, and others smote Him with the palms of their hands.” (Matthew 26:67)
“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6)
“They platted a crown of thorns and put it upon His head”…. And they smote Him on the head with a [rod]. (Matthew 27:29-30)
They stripped Him and He meekly gave His back to the smiters. The Roman scourge ripped His flesh and tore His back just as was prophesied.
“The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.” (Psalm 129:3)
So that “His visage was so marred” (Isaiah 52:14) he was hardly recognised as a man.
Then they led Him away to crucify Him by piercing “My hands and My feet.” (Psalm 22:16). And that is what men did to Him.
Crowned with thorns, bleeding, bruised, and nailed to the cross, the Saviour suffered still more as God the Father smote Him. The sun refused to shine at noon and darkness prevailed as unseen by human eye, God’s hand smote Him.
“It pleased the Lord to bruise Him, He hath put Him to grief.” (Isaiah 53:10)
“Thy wrath lieth hard upon Me, and Thou hast afflicted Me with all Thy waves.” (Psalm 88:7)
In deep anguish of His soul He cried, “My God, My God, Why has Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Our finite minds can never comprehend the infinite suffering of Christ at the hand of God. Do you need a projected visual to help you imagine what Christ must have gone through? Challenging words from the prophet Jeremiah capture a general insensitivity to this suffering from God, “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger.” (Lamentations 1:12)

Why did God do that?

It was because of our sin! “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust (you & me), that He might bring us to God” (I Peter 3:18) “For your sakes He became poor” (II Corinthians 8:9). Our sins were the direct cause of His suffering and death. There is no salvation for any who deny this. “Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3). It is a personal experience; “the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
The Christian can say of Christ, “Who His own self bear our sins in His own body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24). Since Christ bore my sins and paid my debt I am cleansed and free. Can you claim this too? You can, by receiving Him as your Saviour. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). Christ suffered to procure your salvation.

There is life for a look at the Crucified One,
There is life at this moment for thee;
Then look, sinner, look unto Him and be saved,
Unto Him who was nailed to the tree
Oh, why was He there as the Bearer of sin,
If on Jesus thy guilt was not laid?
Oh, why from His side flowed the sin-cleansing Blood,
If His dying thy debt has not paid?

The Resurrection Story

The passion is over, but the story does not finish with a crucified and dead Christ. The Bible tells us of “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (I Peter 1:11). The Gospel message is “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures: And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).
The Saviour we are telling you about is not dead now. He rose from the dead. I Corinthians Chapter 15 tells us many eyewitnesses saw Him after His resurrection (v6). What does this mean for you? It means …

  • Faith in Christ is not a hollow religious experience (v17). It is real, as many have discovered.
  • You can have hope in resurrection because Christ’s resurrection is the start. The resurrection of believers is the sequel. (v23)
  • Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden brought death on all men. Christ solved the problem of sin and brings life to all who believe in Him. (v22)
  • Christ has conquered death. As a victorious living Saviour, He can give you everlasting life if you will trust Him for salvation. (v54-57)
  • You can trust Him implicitly. He has the power He always said He had—“Destroy this temple [His body] and in three days I will raise it up. … When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered … the word which Jesus had said.” (John 2:19-22)

Then take with rejoicing from Jesus at once
The life Everlasting He gives;
And know with assurance thou never canst die,
Since Jesus, thy righteousness lives.