Lent 2017: The Passion and the People

The Passion and the PeopleThe Passion: From the Latin patior meaning “suffer,” referring to the sufferings Jesus endured for our salvation, from the agony in the garden through His death on Calvary.

The People: The men, women, and children of a particular nation, community, or ethnic group, but which can also refer to everyone in the world.

“The Passion and the People” is the theme for this Lenten season.  The scripture readings and sermons, and to a lesser extent, the liturgy, will revolve around these twin foci.  In the center will be Jesus and His suffering and death for our salvation.

Still, Jesus did not die an abstract death for an unknown people.  Neither did His execution by Roman crucifixion come about by a random turn of events.  Particular people in their actions (on inactions) allowed His death to become a reality.  These are the people of our Lord’s Passion.

So, who are these people?  This we will explore during this year’s midweek Lenten services.

  • March 1: The disciple who betrayed Jesus, Judas.
  • March 8: A disciple who denied Jesus, Peter.
  • March 15: A man who first doubted and later believed, Nicodemus.
  • March 22: The High Priest who decided Jesus should die instead of the nation suffer, Caiaphas.
  • March 29: The Governor who chose pragmatism over truth and justice, Pilate.
  • April 5: The King who wanted to meet Jesus, Herod.
  • April 9, Palm Sunday: The Children, not only near the road but also in the Temple Complex.
  • April 13, Maundy Thursday: The Apostles, to whom Jesus gave the mandate of His Supper.
  • April 14, Good Friday: The Roman Centurion, who recognized Jesus as the Son of God.
  • April 16, Easter Morning: The Women, who went to finish Jesus’ burial.

Though these are the particular people, “the people” moves beyond to all the people of the world.  The irony of our Lord’s death is people brought about His execution, but His death took place to save all people.

Come with me and learn from the betrayal, denial, deception, and pragmatism of others, which they committed to suit their purposes.  Despite such shameful deeds, Jesus shows us this—God does work everything together for our eternal well-being.  Experience this reality in a vivid and fuller way this Lenten season.


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