The Passion of Christ - Not Just a Lesson in History
A lesson in life to stand up for truth
On this Good Friday, we commemorate the day that Jesus Christ died on the Cross. We reflect on His suffering and death, His Passion. Passion refers to all of His suffering – physical, spiritual, and mental – and points us to a new way of living.
We call ourselves Christians, the followers of Christ, but how Christ-like are we in accepting humiliation and pain for speaking the truth? How Christ-like are we when we are accused of offenses we did not commit? Will we be humble enough not to strike back and forgive those who accuse us?
For Christians the Passion should be more than a lesson in history. It should become a lesson in life, teaching us how to stand up for truth and justice. The Passion we commemorate is based primarily on biblical accounts of the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. From these accounts we know Jesus was falsely accused, convicted and sentenced, not by fine or imprisonment, but to death by crucifixion, the severest form of sentence a man can possibly get. As if that was not enough, before he was crucified he was humiliated, severely persecuted, whipped, scourged, crowned with thorns, dragged up a hill carrying a heavy cross, stripped of his clothes and then nailed to the cross, watched by many, like a hardcore criminal.
What crime did Jesus commit that deserved to be punished in that most inhumane way? It was for proclaiming the TRUTH. Yes, Jesus was tortured, humiliated and killed not for lying, corruption, rape or murder but for telling the truth, the truth which caused so much fear among those in positions of power and comfort. He was a threat to their social security and had to be eliminated at costs. Throughout the journey of his passion, what was astonishing was the way Jesus humbly accepted his punishment which he knew was unfair and unjust. However he accepted all that willingly without fighting back or defending himself. He did not show even the slightest anger or retaliation for being victimized, falsely accused and sentenced by the kangaroo court that tried him. He did not get angry with those who accused him, Pilate who sentenced him and the Roman soldiers who executed him. Instead he had the great magnanimity to forgive all of them who took turns to insult torture and kill him. It was the highest level of humility that no ordinary man can have. This was in keeping with what was written "He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he didn't open his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is mute, so he didn't open his mouth".( Isaiah 53:7). Jesus taught us to love our enemies and to offer the other cheek when struck on one. He demonstrated that he really meant what he said by accepting his Passion so willingly. We call ourselves Christians, the followers of Christ, but how Christ-like are we in accepting humiliation and pain for speaking the truth? How Christ-like are we when we are accused of offences we did not commit? Are we humble enough not to strike back? Do we forgive those who accuse us? What lesson does the Passion of Christ provide us in our own lives? We too in own small ways are often falsely accused, humiliated and punished for standing up for truth, by the authorities in the government, our places of work, families and even in the church. When we are denied our rights we fight back fiercely, sometimes with vengeance. We organize protests, demonstrations, hurl verbal abuses ...we may even resort to violence and wars. Many of us behave like those who made false accusations against Jesus and wanted to get rid of him. We too make false accusations against those who are against us in order to get them out of our way. We resort to all forms of tactics to succeed. We fail to realize that our efforts cause pain and suffering to the person involved and sometimes to his or her family. There may be others among us, especially those in positions of power, who behave like Pilate, refusing to stand up to public pressure for fear of losing our power. Due to our greed, we succumb to the wrongful demands of the public and wash our hands of the problems of those in need or those who stand for truth. Like the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus, there are many among us, who carry out the "execution" of others without empathy or compassion. Even if we know it is wrong, we carry it out anyway for fear of the authorities or some material reward. As we make the final Way of the Cross and read the Passion of Christ this Good Friday, let us reflect on its relevance in our own lives, of Jesus´ actions during his agonizing times. Let his Passion not be just a lesson in history to commemorate Christ´s suffering at the hands of his own people. His Passion is not only something to sympathize or be sorrowful about but a real lesson for us as we encounter the many challenges in our own lives. Christ´s humility and forgiveness even towards his adversaries is infinite. That is an invitation to us. That kind of love is not just what Christianity is meant to be what humanity is about. The Cross is a sign of love, freedom and hope not sorrow and despair as we often make it to be. Let us pick it up on this Good Friday with the One who transforms it into an instrument of transformation and infinite love.
Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal: That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- Missing The Point of Easter
- The Power of the Resurrection in our Lives: Christ Is Risen; Indeed, He Is Risen!
- Easter: Through the Octave and Beyond!
- The Happy Priest on Easter: He Has Truly Risen, We Are Free From Fear
- Holy Saturday: 'Make Sure He's Dead'
- HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence
- Good Friday Reflection on the Logic of the Cross
- Good Friday: The Church Born From the Wounded Side of Christ Pauses at the Cross
- Reflection on the Nature of Sin for Good Friday
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
Alex Basile - Catholic Online, 4/10/2015
Author Alex Basile reflects of the true meaning of the Resurrection of Christ and how many Christians overlook the real joy of Easter. In the haziness of the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene made ...Continue Reading
Fr. James Farfaglia - Catholic Online, 4/6/2015
With the resurrection of Jesus, the physical is exalted. When we truly believe in Jesus, we are resurrected in this life because we are freed from the fear and worry that are characteristic of ...Continue Reading
Randy Sly - Catholic Online, 4/6/2015
While Easter is a Solemnity and an Octave Feast, it is also a 50-day journey until Pentecost. We continue to remember his resurrection with special devotion. Saint Augustine shares this ...Continue Reading
F. K. Bartels - Catholic Online, 4/6/2015
There is great cause for belief in the Resurrection. One of the most wonderful tenets of Catholicism and the true Christian religion the Church transmits, is that the Resurrection is a historical ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »