By Rev Alan Millar
Passion is a word used to describe a strong, powerful emotion of excitement - the kind often displayed by soccer fans.
The excitement within football grounds is electric and reaches fever pitch when the teams are locked in a close contest. The better the team does, the greater the excitement. But when a team begins to fail the TV cameras show fans leaving in droves, their enthusiasm crushed, the fire of their passion extinguished.
This week is Holy Week, the time when Christians reflect on the days leading up to the death of Jesus. Last Sunday we reflected on the passion of the crowd hailing Jesus as king. The disciples too were caught up with the electric atmosphere of the moment. “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” (John12:13) Peter was so passionate in his devotion to Jesus he claimed he would go to prison or even die for Jesus.
What happened to their passion when Jesus was arrested? Peter was up for a fight, but that is not the passion Jesus wanted expressed - His was a passion to love as He loved. Misunderstood He was abandoned - He faced His accusers alone. Jesus was not the kind of king they expected. The fire of passion of the disciples, all their dreams and ambitions, died on the cross with Jesus on that Good Friday.
BUT, quietly and without any earthly fanfare, Jesus rose from the dead. The excitement would have been heard in heaven as the angels and all the company of heaven sang the praises of the Lamb that was slain but now risen, for the work of man’s redemption was complete. Jesus’ passion was our salvation. Jesus had triumphed over sin and death - His was and will forever be the victory. The disciples would soon become passionate to spread God’s love and the Good News throughout all the earth.
Does the story of the resurrection excite you? On Easter morning will you have a passion in your soul as you sing the praises of the Jesus who is Christ the King? Will you struggle to control your emotions as you shout and sing with all the company of heaven, Hallelujah, worthy is the Lamb who died. On Easter Sunday morning, let your passion for the love of God run wild, and sing praises to Jesus who King of kings and Lord of lords. And to God give the glory! Amen