Passion. No word captures that week of Jesus' life leading up to Easter Sunday better than passion.
It took passion to willingly walk mile after mile toward the city of Jerusalem when Jesus knew that He would be brutalized and murdered.
It took passion to ride into town to shouts of adoration and praise when Jesus knew that those same voices would turn to shouts of violence and hatred.
It took passion to enter the Temple and stir the indignation of the religious hypocrites knowing it would compel them to plan His painful death.
It took passion to love Judas.
It took passion to sit at the table with the disciples and eat a passover meal knowing that the entire meal symbolized the events that were about to take place in just a few hours.
It took passion to bend over the dirty feet of the disciples and wash them with water knowing that His body would soon be stretched out upon a cross and His blood would soon be poured out over their dirty, sinful souls.
It took passion to pray and surrender to the Father's plan in the garden knowing that the Temple guards were on their way.
It took passion to let men grab Him with the human power of their flesh and think they held Him when He knew the unlimited, divine power He held over them.
It took passion to hear the lies and endure the mockery of six illegal trials and false witnesses when He knew the truth of His innocence and their guilt.
It took passion to stand still while bloodthirsty men pummeled Him with their fists, spit into His face, ripped out His beard, tore His flesh with a whip, and mocked His name and authority while His angels stood and watched -- wanting to protect Him and defend Him, yet obeying His sovereign command not to intervene.
It took passion to carry the cross, endure the nails in His hands and feet, the thorns upon His brow, and be hoisted up before the world He loved in ridicule and humilty knowing that they did not understand one very important fact: It was His love for them...for us...that held Him on that cross. Not the nails.
It took passion to allow the horrible cruelty of crucifixion to play itself out without taking a divine shortcut.
It took passion to stay in the grave three days.
Passion. The same passion it took for Jesus to endure that week is still in His heart for you. He is passionate for you. He loves you. He did all that He did for you.
Remember His Passion...