“The Purifying Power of His Suffering”
What can be said about this Passion Gospel? Here is a simple commentary:
As it begins Jesus is in deep agony, battling in His heart and mind over what He knows He is supposed to do. Does He face the bitter cup that is given Him, or escape it? Praise God, in obedience He is willing to take it “that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
Jesus is wrongfully accused by the chief priest and his allies. They envy Jesus, not just for His great understanding of the law and ordinances for the people of God, but also because of the many wonders and miracles He has performed in front of them. Jesus is a threat to their dominance of the society during that time. Even the high officials of the government are being manipulated by the Jewish religious officials, so they would rather please the high priest and the chief priests, even at the expense of the wrongfully accused. Their envy and protection of their reputation and social standing compels them to fully exterminate the popularity and influence of Jesus.
But Jesus, knowing the end result of His forthcoming punishment and suffering, stands firm in His obedience to the Father. He knows that there will be a glorious end result, even though His humanity makes it very hard to image and accept the pain and anguish He has to undergo. As a carpenter he knows how painful it is to endure such misery; imagine a thousand times the pain of accidentally hitting your finger with your hammer.
Yet Jesus faces the sorrow for you and me, He lays down His life for us. He bears all the chastisement which He does not deserve, but because of His wonderful love for you and me He chooses to do it. Hanging on the cross He is looking at us, saying, “I love you. This is for you! Don’t worry anymore, I carry all your burden and suffering. I love you.”