by John Park, UYWI
The Easter season is a time marked for Christians to reflect on Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and celebrate His victorious defeat over sin through His resurrection. In Hebrews 12, it says, “because of the joy awaiting him, Christ endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” This means that Jesus Christ approached the work of the Cross by looking forward to the joy to come through His resurrection. What we also know leading up to Jesus’ death on the Cross, Christ experienced some of the most painful and brutal punishment any one person has experienced. He was beaten, whipped, starved, sleep deprived, spit upon, cursed and abandoned.
All this is known to us in a phrase, the Passion of the Christ. The Greek word for passion is pathema. Pathema means suffering to result in God’s glory. Christ’s passion, His suffering, is culminated in His death so that God would be glorified. And so even though his suffering was for you and I, it is intended to result in God’s glory. His audience is God the Father.
So what’s your passion? What’s your suffering? And who’s it for?
Youth worker, you do so much for your church, your students and your neighborhood. You’re volunteering, giving rides, building relationships with students, serving as a role model to them. In essence, you suffer for the youth you serve. But I ask you today, is your passion/suffering done to bring you glory or to result in God’s glory. If it’s for our own glory, the tell tale signs are resentment and bitterness that grow from a lack of appreciation and recognition. I encourage you today to look beyond just the sufferings of the now and look towards the joy in the future of urban youth your serve discovering the truth of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Witnessing the joy in seeing young people living out lives of Christ following discipleship. And finally, the joy to see the same urban youth you suffer for, begin to suffer for others to result in God’s glory.
During this Easter season, don’t miss the opportunity to show God your gratitude for the sufferings of Jesus. The suffering that was victorious over death, that conquered sin, and that offers you salvation through Christ’s resurrection. Secondly, don’t miss the opportunity to let your passion for the urban youth you serve be purposed for God’s glory alone.