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Friday, April 14, 2006

Midnight Passion

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” John 12:23-28a.

Passion has little to do with zeal.
Or Enthusiasm.
Or Emotion.

Passion is not about feeling good.
Or enjoying life as if this life is all there is.
Passion is about determination.
And focus.
And pain.

Passion is about longing for something, believing in something, so much that you will do anything to get it.

Though the actual word is not in scripture, the closest we come is the concept of suffering.
Specifically, the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Thus, all over the world, this week is know as Passion Week.

It's not a week about a conference.
A collegiate movement.
A CD.
Or a gathering.

It's the week in which the Son of Man did the unthinkable.
Jesus wore the sinner's crown.
And He suffered and died alone.

In the earliest days of our journey, when most of you reading this were only a dream in our hearts, this definition of Passion guided our movement. Passion: the degree of difficulty we are willing to endure to accomplish the goal.

For us, this says it all.
And informs our story.
What Christ has done is unique in time and history.
His surrender gained for us eternal freedom.
His goal was to glorify God by showing Him to be the God of justice and mercy, the One who could be both just in regard to our rebellion and the justifier of those who put their trust in Him.

But the price would be steep.
Beyond compare.
Jesus had already voiced willing participation.
A babe had been born.
33 years of footsteps now led to this Passover meal.
To this upper room.
To this moment.

He looked them all squarely in the eyes.
This time, He declared as crumbs fell, I am the bread broken for you. The cup from now on, He affirmed, is my blood shed for your sins.

The time had come.
Nothing would deter Jesus now.

No disciple's desertion.
No weary flesh.
No soldiers commotion.
No false arrest.
No late night rail road in the court of the High Priest.
No lonely dungeon.
No dark night of the soul.

The goal of glorifying His Father was fixed in His gaze.
And a lonely journey had begun.
The mission would be accomplished.

A day we now call good seemed anything but that in the midnight hour.
A night of waiting none can fathom.

To be continued...

20 Comments:

  • Jesus paid it all...

    that's all there is to it. our passion... to seek Him and to know Him...

    By Blogger Andrew Dale, at 4/14/2006 10:46 AM  

  • Yes Jesus Paid it ALL!!!
    He died to save us from OUR sin!!
    No other has given such a great love for his people!!
    I thank you Jesus for your sacrifice!!And I pray that we would take great thought in remembering what you did for us during this week.But I also pray we would always take the time in our everyday lives to stop and remember what you did for us!!A sinless man died to save us from our own sin!I stand in awe.Your love is so INDESCRIBABLE None can Fathom!!Thank you JESUS!!
    Miranda

    By Blogger FanofGOD, at 4/14/2006 10:57 AM  

  • On a much greater scale the world today is a better place because on Good Friday 2,000 years God the Father gave his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cruel Roman cross to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind. Thank God that includes you and me. And now, because of Jesus' death, all who put their trust in him will live forever in Heaven with God where there will be no more sickness, sadness, sorrow or death.

    Thus Good Friday and Easter Sunday—when Jesus rose from the dead—are two days that changed the world forever.

    "Dear God, how can I ever thank you enough for giving your Son, Jesus, to die in my place on the cross. Because you died for me, Lord Jesus, I give my heart and life to live for you all the days of my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen

    By Blogger shelly, at 4/14/2006 11:10 AM  

  • I just got back from Israel about a week ago. I saw the upper room, I saw the Garden of Gethsemane, where His agony was at its height..but also where he said,"Not my will, but Yours be done." ...But I also saw the empty tomb...and praise God for that empty tomb...it's what enables us to have the passion...the passion for HIs name and fame all the days of our lives...

    By Blogger Jenny, at 4/14/2006 11:18 AM  

  • For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you [1 Peter 1:18-20, NLT]


    "Lord, we mourn today as we remember that You, Jesus, suffered the wieght of all our sins - even becoming sin itself - for our sake. Lord, we remember You with grateful hearts. Though we mourn Your death today, we do so for only a moment because we know that You have conquered sin and death and have risen victoriously just as You promised You would. We thank You with humble and awestruck hearts at this miracle of mercy that You have so freely given us. May we always celebrate You and what You have done for us."

    By Blogger Annibelle, at 4/14/2006 11:43 AM  

  • So I ask Why did Messiah die? What was it for?? How is Love and Wrath together motivating factors??? How do they work together and balance out?? Did Christ die for everybody or only for the elect??

    By Blogger jewboy, at 4/14/2006 1:57 PM  

  • Thank you for putting into words the amazing thing that He has done for us... we need to always hold this close to our hearts and pray that His love and passion for us would continue to transform us to become more like Him. I am so grateful for what He has done for me and for being the hope of the world.

    By Blogger Godlistens, at 4/14/2006 2:00 PM  

  • Why did Messiah die? What was it for?

    Messiah, the Holy One, died for all of us, to reconcile us to God. As sinners, none of us are worthy to come into God's presence. Our sin, before Christ, required to be redeemed by sacrifices of innocent, pure animals. Messiah was this sinless and pure "lamb" that died for the forgiveness of our sins, once and for all. He lived a perfectly holy life before God, resisting all temptations to sin.

    How is Love and Wrath together motivating factors???

    God loves us so much; he could not stand for any of us to be lost; and he wants us to be united with him. It is this love that gave Christ the strength and endurance to suffer death on the cross, and even life on earth. However, in our sin, we all deserve the wrath of God. At the cross, Christ suffered the wrath of God on our behalf, so that we won't have to.

    Did Christ die for everybody or only for the elect??

    For all who would believe in him; Jews and gentiles alike. The true children of Abraham are children of faith.

    By Blogger Silke, at 4/14/2006 2:46 PM  

  • yes. jesus is awsome
    thank u jesus for dying for our sin
    my sin
    but not only died..but now lives!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/14/2006 4:46 PM  

  • Remembering him in these days is so amazing and sobering. Truly nothing compares to God... Reflect on the events of Good Friday...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/14/2006 5:24 PM  

  • Louie, i remember you posting that quote from Jeff Lewis back in your old Passion online journal. when i read it years ago, i wrote it down and have kept it as a challenge.. asking myself, "how bad do i want it? will i let things deter me from it? from the life God has called each of us to live.

    so thanks for the reminder again.
    today is a good day.
    thank you, Jesus. for your death, for your victory.

    By Blogger steph hsieh, at 4/14/2006 5:46 PM  

  • The picture of Jesus on the cross brings tears to my eyes, I remember the man, whom for us did die, He had created the world with a sweep of His hand, then hummbled Himself and came to earth as a man.

    Created in His image, yet fallen so far, we had turned away from God and we drifted a far.

    Fos us He did come, God on earth a savior no doubt, a chance for rebirth. The gift is free. for all who believe, eternal life, for you and for me!

    Our cross He did bear, my sin and yours temporarily separated from God the Father, totally abhorred. The same hands that had once sculpted me as clay now bore the marks of sin`s decay.

    Yet He defeated death, once and for all, rising as prophesied three days after the fall.

    His ministry calls for repentance and faith, acceptance of His love offered freely through grace.

    His spirit lives within all who believe, hopefully you and hopefully me.

    We are called to spread the Good News that "Jesus Lives" and evidence with our lives that we are His.

    You see, the tears I have are not tears of sorrow, but rather tears of joy, that Christ saved me Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow!!

    Bless His Holy Name!

    By Blogger eliz, at 4/14/2006 6:02 PM  

  • i had the privilege this afternoon to lead a some elderly people in song at their Good Friday service. I'd forgotten how deep the hymn 'The Old Rugged Cross' touches my soul, and to see these people who have been through war upon war, the Depression, with lines on their faces that tell of life's pain and suffering and goodness, sing, 'And I'll cherish the old rugged cross till my burdens I gladly lay down. And I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown.'

    We will never get too old to cling to the cross and what it means. These folks, through their singing and their beautiful wrinkles, reminded me of that today.

    Thanks for your words, Louie.

    _hb

    By Blogger heather b, at 4/14/2006 6:37 PM  

  • it has just been an extremely long week of trial. a week in which i have to finally give up something that i have created. it is the hardest decision that i have ever had to make.

    as i am preparing to go to rehearsal for our Easter services i have just been thinking about myself. i have tried to take the time to think about the drumming components that i need to remember. the dynamic of the service. yet one thing is missing...MY HEART

    i have been so focused on myself i have completely forgotten about Jesus. He is the most important thing that has ever happened to me.

    Jesus, please come prepare my heart. i am so sorry that i have forgotten about you. this trial is all about obeying you. thank you for the people that you have put around me who love you so much. i just want to let go right now. i hate what i am going through, but i will obey. i will follow. thank you so much for forgiving me before i even knew that i needed it for this. thank you for FREEDOM!

    thank you all for your encouragment even though you don't know me!

    By Blogger cameron, at 4/14/2006 7:12 PM  

  • Wow, talk about snapping back into reality. Thanks Louie I needed that reality check today. A day that I have only been focused on what is going on in my life and I totally forgot what day it was. Now if I can keep the tears out of my eyes long enough to see what I am writing.

    Father,
    Please forgive me for not remembering. I ask Father that you remove this selfishness from me. You alone are God and You alone will I serve. Father, thank you for sending your Son, to die on that Old Rugged Cross, and for the sacafrice that was made for my sins. Father I love you, I worship You.

    "I stand amazed in the presence
    Of Jesus the Nazerene
    And wonder how He could LOVE me
    A sinner condemned, unclean

    How Marvleous, How Wonderful
    and my song shall ever be
    How marvleous, How Wonderful
    Is my savior's Love for me."

    As I think about the Midnight Passion, I can't help but think back to the night of the solemn assembly and whenver those eight guys came out carrying that huge wooden cross, down the aisle, and around the stage until it was hoisted up and suspended from the heavenly's. And the time was important as well, because it was almost midnight. That night He became the "Center" of our lives. And come to think of it,It was nealry 12 noon, when "GLORIOUS" was revealed, midnight passion and Easter Sunrise, wow what a breath of fresh air that is, to wake to see the sun rise on Easter morning, knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is "All We Need".

    Midnight Passion, that is so awesome and yet very humbling to think about.

    Thanks Louie, I really did need that, again, to me it's just
    "Indescribable" what an awesome
    Loving, God we serve, but yet we are so unworthy of His Grace and mercy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/14/2006 9:39 PM  

  • "The goal of glorifying His Father was fixed in His gaze.
    And a lonely journey had begun.
    The mission would be accomplished."

    That quote hit me especially hard this year as the Lord has asked me to "fix my gaze" and to prepare for the "lonely journey" of moving away to a place where I know nobody, where family and friends and everything comfortable to me are 1/2 a continent away.

    Self Sacrifice is the price we must pay to live the life HE died to give us.

    I know I would not be satisfied with anything else in this life but to sacrifice all that I am and all that I have to gain the reward of His Glory demonstrated in my life.

    In light of the price Christ paid at the cross, I can't fathom giving Him less that everything to use as He wills.

    He is Passion...He is why we sing! Glory to Him now and Forever!

    By Blogger Sarah, at 4/14/2006 10:07 PM  

  • This past week has been a time of great conviction and unworthiness as I've remembered the death of Christ. Especially yesterday during my church's Good Friday service

    But as I look forward to Easter Sunday (which is about 11 hours away from now down here in Brisbane, Australia), that conviction turns into hope, gratitude and sheer joy.

    Thanks for the reminder Louie of the determination of Christ to do His Father's will and glorify Him in doing so despite all that happened around him.

    bf

    By Anonymous brandon f, at 4/14/2006 11:09 PM  

  • that was deep...i enjoyed it. praise the Lord for His loving kindness. I praise Him for giving up so much for me when He didn't have to.

    By Blogger Mary, at 4/14/2006 11:57 PM  

  • Thinking about all the hymns that talk about what Jesus did for us. Jesus paid it all, Old Rugged Cross, How Marvalous, He Lives. In this generation many of us like the newer songs but these can life touching. Sometimes I think we should sing them more often. Thank you Louie for your post. It is so true. But I wonder how could a person want to be for God and suffer? Why live a life of suffering instead of a life of sin that seems so fun?
    It was a Good Friday even though when Jesus died it probably didn't seem that good for the people there. For the non - christians they thought it was good because they didn't think Jesus could come back to life. But it was also good because Jesus died for us so we can live with him. Even though I don't understand it.

    Have a Happy Easter!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/15/2006 10:17 AM  

  • I was at the Passion 06 Conference in Nashville and Louie prayed for me on the last night. And as a result of the prayer, we are having a similar event in S.A. On the 1st July 2006 we are having an worship evening based on Passion material and hopefully have an outdoor event in S.A. (similar to One Day).I also like to take this opportunity to thank Passion for their support & input. It has been really inspiring to me. May God bless you always
    Renier

    By Blogger crearedream, at 5/17/2006 7:23 AM  

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