John 17:5, And now, Father, glorify Me in your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.

Isaiah 53:4, Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. 5But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. 6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

This week is Passion week. When most of us think about passion, we often think of the way it is defined today, a strong emotion, feeling or desire. However, the original Latin word, passio means to endure great suffering, and that’s exactly why we refer to the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday Morning as Passion week. In a very real way, everything about that week in Jesus’ life was leading up to His suffering on the cross for the sins of the world.

Long before Christ walked this earth, Isaiah the Prophet had predicted Christ would be nailed to the cross. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, Isaiah the prophet wrote in Isaiah 53:5, “…He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”   However, that last week of Christ’s life also reflects the contemporary usage of our day of passion as a ‘strong emotion or feeling,’ and that strong emotion was none other than love. It was His strong love for us that drove Him to endure the denial, betrayal, beatings and crucifixion. Why would He do that? Because by His wounds we are healed! What a great message. His Passion brings us forgiveness.

 Think about it…and I hope to see you in church on Easter Sunday!

John Mark Caton, Ph.D