I’m guessing most of us have seen the movie “Passion of the Christ.” If you haven’t, cancel all your plans for this evening or this weekend and sit down and watch it! The other day I was listening to an interview of Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. His experience and suffering in the role and the behind-the-scenes stories are fascinating. Jim shares multiple stories and moments on set that can only be explained by God being ever so present! But Jim said something that really hit me square between the eyes.
Jim said, “I would become him (Jesus), and I didn’t want people to see me. I wanted them to see Jesus. But when people came to the Theater, what I wanted them to experience is that they can look right at themselves the way God sees them. Not the way we see ourselves, but the way God sees us in who you really are.”
Can you imagine if you were called to play the role of Jesus in a movie? Wouldn’t that change your life and how you acted around people? Well, truth be told, we all play the role of Jesus every single day.
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. – Galatians 3:26-27 ESV
Every day we wake up and make choices upon choices. With each choice comes two roads, a road the glorifies God and another road that defies God. When we choose a road that defies God, we are essentially crucifying Jesus with every one of those decisions.
Imagine if you, playing the part of Jesus, had to go through the crucifixion scene in The Passion of the Christ for every single choice you made that defied God. What if you were also crucified for every wrong choice someone in your family made? What about your friends? You’re Co-workers? What about ISIS militants?
It’s hard, and quite frankly impossible, to fully put into context the sacrifice that Jesus made for each and every one of us. However, if we are going to be like Christ, we are called to suffer alongside him.
You may be thinking or have heard people say, “But Christ suffered on the cross for me, so I shouldn’t have to suffer.” This is true in a sense, but why did the apostles suffer and ultimately be killed for following Jesus? What about the Christians being executed daily because of extremists in the middle east?
God paid way too high of a price for us to sit back and say, “I’ll only be a Christian if it’s about prosperity.” Or “I’ll be a Christian as long as God doesn’t interfere with my life outside of Sunday mornings.” With this mentality, we are missing out on an incredible life! A life that things on earth can’t buy, or a life that we would never imagine or dream of. But a life that comes from having a dear, dear friend in Jesus Christ. A friend that will never leave you, he will never forsake you. He won’t let go of you unless you want him to.
He is the ultimate Father who loves us too much not to let us share in his suffering. The kind of suffering that deepens bonds or that refines us to be better people. This kind of suffering gives us a great new perspective on life or renews our hope and faith in God.
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I want to end this post with a quote Jim Caviezel shared in his testimony and a few questions. This quote speaks to the choices we face every single day to either Glorify God or Defy him;
“Every generation of Americans need to know that freedom exists not to do what you like, but having the right to do what you ought.”