The Passion of the Christ is one of the most moving movies I’ve ever seen. I still remember the first time I saw it in on the big screen, I could hardly hold back my tears during most part of the movie. The images, the dialogues were so powerful; they just pierced though my heart. Many of them I still can’t forget, still speak to me, still inspire me. I’ve seen the movie over and over again, and every time I see, it’s as if I’m seeing it for the first time, as if I’m reliving the betrayal, trial, passion and death of Jesus once again! For me, it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.
However, the same is not the case with some of my friends. Some find it just another movie, some find it gory, too violent, exaggerated etc etc etc. I guess, I would have also felt the same way had I not realized that it was for me that Jesus died, that it was for my sins that He was punished. Everything that’s depicted in the movie – the lashes, the pain, the agony, the humiliation, the torture- should have happened to me; that it was I who should have felt the pain and suffered, I who should have been chastised, humiliated, crucified, punished for all the wrongs I did. But, instead, Jesus swapped himself for me. He took my place and He saved me.
As Isaiah prophesied 700 years before it all happened:
“He was wounded and bruised for our sins!
He was chastised that we may have peace,
He was lashed and we were healed!
We are the ones who strayed away like sheep;
we, who left God’s path to follow our own,
yet God laid on Him the guilt and sins of every one of us!
From prison and trail they led Him away to His death.
But, who among the people of that day
realized it was their sins that He was dying for,
that He was suffering their punishment?
He, who had never committed a crime or told a lie,
was counted as a sinner, and He bore the sins of many,
and He prayed that they might be forgiven.”
Today we observeGood Friday - a day which will always remind us of this saving swap, the ultimate sacrifice God made for us, the greatest sign of His love for us. “God has shown us how much He loves us – it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
And this Love is not limited to just a few; it is there for each one of us. “He died for all.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
May we all know God’s personal love for us, may we realize that it was for us that Jesus died and may we experience the power and glory of His resurrection.