a) any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate
b) a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything
c) the object of such a fondness or desire
It has been a long hike to the crest of the Mount of Olives. It has been an even longer journey from the stable outside Bethlehem. Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem to celebrate His final Passover. These last days are known as Passion Week.
‘Passion’ is an interesting word, and it has two primary readings. In Latin it is a word meaning “to suffer”. In common English it has become one of our most powerful terms for love.
“I have greatly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer,” says Jesus to His disciples at the Last Supper, beautifully encapsulating the entire meaning of these final days. A quick glance through the Gospels bring out examples of Jesus’ major acts of ministry packed into this one week. He teaches, He prophesies, He challenges social and religious conventions, and even brings a dead man to life. It’s as if His entire life and work were being summarized and underlined, the exclamation mark at the end of a momentous sentence! And in a way it is. Jesus has indeed greatly desired to celebrate the Passover, the Jewish holiday of deliverance, because it is the single greatest reason He came to be with us—to suffer and die that we might live. In His love He could not settle for anything less.
His Passion is for us in every sense of the word.