Seems it's the season for talking about Passion.
Kathryn has been sharing her response to The Passion of the Christ and Ian has been talking about Practicing Passion.
In her thoughts, Kathryn comments on the great brutality of the film and Jesus' appearance as 'barely human' throughout most of the film.Having spent the afternoon battling against a large bramble and now typing with majorly scratched hands, I've been pondering the whole crown of thorns thing. I caught my finger on a massive thorn and it REALLY hurt and bled and everything. One cut. One thorn. I can't encompass the idea of a crown of them rammed onto my head. Yet as I was struggling with this huge 12 foot long branch (that I REALLY should have dealt with last year!) I finally managed to get it coiled up and heaped onto the compost mound. It sat there, crown-like and I kinda got a shiver.
We don't like to think of all that pain and hurt that Jesus went through but he did and in fact many people go through all kinds of pain so often. We can't deny pain and we shouldn't. If we pretend it's not there we treat pain like a "monster under the bed" which gets more terrifying because we won't face it. Yet that is the AMAZING thing about Easter. It's NOT all about the pain and the agony of the cross. The death of Jesus is amazingly important and vital BUT it is not the END. As Giles Fraser said in the Church Times this week, to say we are saved by Jesus' death
"allows nothing for the ressurection to do in the overall story of salvation. If we are saved by Jesus' death on the cross, why did he need to rise again?"
Our salvation is not throught he death and agony of Jesus but through the TOTALITY of the Easter mystery. Salvation comes through our being IN Christ in his PASSION and most importantly in his RESURRECTION. It is through Jesus' death that we die to sin but it is Jesus' resurrection that gives us the new life and eternal life.