Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

It was called a “passion.” In fact, the passion. Based on the Latin word for “suffering,” this word has been used by Christians for centuries as an overview for all aspects of the death of Jesus. (The Bible uses a similar Greek word when describing what He was to “suffer.”)

Beginning around the fourth century AD, churches began telling this story in formal “passions.” Soon, traditions developed about what was to be said or sung. By the twelfth century, one tradition called for a priest to speak Jesus’ words, while a deacon was to read other words. Other traditions began involving choirs and even congregations. Various musical forms were utilized, and the passion became the subject of plays, paintings, and sculptures.

The form of the passion adapted during the Protestant Reformation, but the focus remained on the Biblical story. This was clear in the directions given to Johann Sebastian Bach in the eighteenth century when he was asked to write a passion that should not entertain but inspire the “devotion” of listeners.

The story of Jesus’ death remains universally true and yet so personal. Something to ponder, not just once a year but constantly. Paul urged Believers to remember this as part of “communion,” in which we are told to “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

So much to remember! That He was “despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3-5).

Today, remember the death of Jesus, and all it means. For you. His suffering. His passion.