Luke 2:10-11 – But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." (NIV)
Psalm 89:1-2 – I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself. (NIV)
A few short weeks ago, we were discussing "passion" in our Bible study group. The question was raised, "What is passion, anyway?" Is it an emotional high — the feeling you get when you meet that special someone, or the longing you feel in your gut when you see a shiny Harley Davidson, or a deep sense of servitude towards God — what exactly is passion? Many ideas were thrown about in our group, and the general consensus was that passion was an intense devotion, and with regards to our faith, focused on God.
After the Bible study, I remembered an art history class I took a few years ago, where I saw many Renaissance paintings centred on the Passion of Christ. All the paintings depicted Jesus on the cross, and his expression was of despair and agony. What was the passion they were basing their masterpieces on?
I found out that an obsolete meaning of "passion" is "suffering", but still, what caused Jesus to endure endless hours of suffering, pain, degradation, and both physical and spiritual agony? What caused him to give up his life on the cross for us? The answer is his boundless, unconditional love for us — his passion for us.
This Christmas season, let us celebrate his wondrous birth with his ultimate purpose in mind. Ultimately, Jesus was born into our world an innocent babe, to save us all — to give up his life on the cross 33 years later. Because of his passion for us, we now have the choice to spend eternity in heaven. The day Jesus was born was the day it was heralded to the world — the promise of passion.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you so much for giving us Jesus. By your grace, He was born 2000 years ago so that we could be saved. Thank you for the deep passion you feel for us, and for the promise of eternal life in your presence. Amen.