As my 39-year-old eyes survey this old world, I see things similarly to the one who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind,” says the Teacher, son of David, King of Israel.
My 39-year-old eyes have seen many people pursue sexual pleasures, financial gains, and positions of power, with a greater passion and commitment than many who call themselves followers of Jesus actually pursue Him. I have seen many sacrifice their spouses and their kids at the altars of those same pursuits. And to be honest with you, I am sick of it.
Yet, even though I am sick of it, I feel myself constantly pulled in those same directions. The only thing that has kept me from diving fully into those same pursuits is the fact that my soul has found the deeper satisfaction of Jesus’ love. But even that is subject to my daily decisions. When I spend dedicated time with Jesus, I find that my appetites for unhealthy things are greatly diminished. The times when I am too busy or lazy for dedicated times with Jesus, my appetites for unhealthy things are greatly increased.
My prayer for us this Passion Week is that we would feel the intensity and aggression with which Jesus Christ fought for our affection. The mighty King of Kings, so stricken with unconditional love for us—so undeterred by all of our betrayal and animosity toward Him—and so hopeful that we might let His nail scarred hands heal our sin pierced hearts—willingly gave up His life. He was brutalized, victimized, and left to die hanging naked on a despicable criminal’s cross so that we would never have to taste the wrath of Almighty God. This is true passion.
Today, Thursday, marks the time Jesus spent with His disciples, having their last supper together. Tonight, please take some time of dedicated remembrance and let the passion Jesus displayed in this last week of His earthly life compel you to pursue Him above everything else. Then, join us for our Good Friday service at noon on Friday, and one of our three Easter services on Sunday at 8, 9:30, and 11am.