Every Easter, we watch portions of The Passion of the Christ as a family, and every year, I’m struck by the beauty, the glory, and the selflessness of Christ’s sacrifice. Seems like I always get touched in a new way. This year, we gathered afterward as a family around the piano and had an incredible time of worship. I wrote two songs in spontaneous worship as my heart just overflowed with thanksgiving!

Here’s a few reflections and musings after this round of watching the film:

1. Jim Caviezel is the man.

2. Jesus is worthy of all the admiration I can give Him.

3. I suck.

4. Living for God is not, and should not be a duty, but an overflow of gratitude and love after beholding His love. Every time I see that movie, my response is, “How can I live for You?” Makes sense now what missionary David Livingstone said at the end of his life: “I never made a sacrifice.”

5. Judas probably betrayed Christ because his expectations of Jesus were let down. Judas expected a military Messiah who would overthrow Rome, but Jesus’ kingdom was not, is not, of this world! Judas chose to give in to the temptation that accompanied these “failed expectations” and it cost him his soul. All this made me wonder: How do I respond when Jesus “lets down my expectations”? Unfulfilled dreams, financial strain, the loss of something or someone dear…will I sell out my Savior because He has not accommodated my designs?  As the old hymn “Come Thou Fount” says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it; Seal it for Thy courts above.” If Judas would have trusted and waited, He would have found Jesus to be more than he ever dreamed. And if we will wait, we will find Him to be our All in All.

6. Jesus chose the cross for two reasons: 1) It was the will of His Father, and 2) He loved His disciples, and laid down his life for them. There’s one scene where John is standing next to the two Marys at the foot of the cross looking up at Christ. Could this have been one of the moments Jesus found endurance? When he looked right into the eyes of those He was saving? If we will keep our eyes on our children, natural and spiritual, our crosses will become more bearable as our own refining becomes the good of our children. Paul in essence said to the believers in Colosse, “My affliction is your gain.”

7. Nothing matters but Christ. I watched the opening MLB game of Yanks-Red Sox a few hours after seeing the movie, and all the hype, lights, and cameras all seemed so ridiculous after watching my Savior die. Reminded me of what’s written on prophet Leonard Ravenhill’s tombstone: “Is what you’re living for worth Christ dying for?”

Well, there you have it. I hope something in all that encourages you today to live for Christ and love Him more.

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