I was raised near the South Canadian River in a small town in Oklahoma. My family spent a lot of time on that river, noodling and swimming and searching for morels. I have always understood the power of its raging waters after the spring floods. A fact that was made all too clear to me when my brother, Robin, took me with him one day to hunt for arrowheads. There had just been a heavy rain, and he knew this was a great time to find them. Farmers had just plowed their fields for the spring planting, and the rain would help expose any treasure we sought.
The word “passion,” as most people know it today, comes from a French word associated with a state or outburst of intense feelings. However, the word is also associated with the final hours of Jesus’ life on earth. That “passion” stems from Latin and means suffering or enduring. It is most definitely what Christ did. He suffered more than we care to imagine. The passion of Christ begins with His time in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He began to really feel the heavy burden of what He must do, through His death on the cross. Jesus suffered so many things in those last hours: the betrayal of Judas, abandonment and denial by His disciples, arrest, trials, mockery, shame, and torture. These things He endured voluntarily.
I came across a little chart recently, that had a break-down of about 9 well-known religious leaders in the world today. I won’t name any names here. It doesn’t really matter the who…it’s the what that I’m more concerned with. I’ll get to that in a minute. The chart showed the amount of money each of these leaders and their ministries earned in a year. Let’s just say it was quite a bit more than the teacher’s salary I earn in Missouri. I can’t adequately assess these leaders solely based on how much they earn because I have no information as to how much of that money they give to God – and there is the what.