Passion Week: Who Is This?
And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him. But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” And they all left him and fled. And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked. — Mark 14:43-52
It was just a few days before He would be crucified, and Jesus had just entered Jerusalem. You can picture it, can’t you? The crowd was waving palm branches and shouting hallelujahs. But many in the crowd where wondering what was happening.
When [Jesus] had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, ‘Who is this?’
This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee. — Matthew 21:10-11
Not a wrong answer. He really was the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee. But it was only a half correct answer. He was more than the crowds understood or even his very own disciples understood. Not only a prophet, he was the focal point and fulfillment of all the prophecies.
And I would offer that Jesus is still not known today. Instead of being known as the Son of God, our Redeemer and Savior, Jesus is only known half-way. He is known with half-truths, bringing a half-salvation, applying a half-remedy to the magnitude of our needs — and it is easy to settle for that. Too many Christians settle for a meek, passive Jesus who is not reflected in the Biblical text. But then we wonder why it isn’t working for us. Why do we still feel so empty and lost and without hope? It’s because the Jesus we have come to know is not the authentic Jesus who died for your sins. The real Jesus, the whole Jesus, is better than we know. But we CAN know him if we ask, “Who is this?”, and then really listen for God’s answer!
When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken, saying, “Who is this?”
The whole city was shaken! Oh to see my whole city shaken over Jesus. I would love to see just our churches shaken. Our homes and our schools. Just to have people so moved by his presence is something I have longed for and continue to do so. What about you? Have you been shaken by Jesus Christ? Perhaps you have asked, “Who is this?” Who is this who put your life back together from the ashes? Who is this who redeemed you? Who is this who healed your broken heart? Who is this?
As we make the final steps to the cross, we must do so through what is known as Passion Week, the week of suffering. But to really understand what this week is about you need to know what passion really means. Passion originally meant, “A willingness to suffer for what you love.” Did you hear that? A willingness to suffer for what you love. The Passion of Christ is the unfailing, everlasting love of the Almighty Triune God, miraculously confined in a human body, suffering of His own volition for His beloved creation. So, who is this? Well, let me tell you.
“God is love.” 1 John 4:8
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“No one shows greater love than when he lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“And the angel answering, said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore also the Holy One being born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:35
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” Matthew 1:22-23
The Passion of Christ is unconditional love on display in living color. Who is this? He’s the savior of the world.