“I love ice cream. I love to travel. I love ______(and we name our favorite football team). ” We lump love into one emotional category, which leaves it limp, fragile and anemic. None of these adjectives describe the kind of love that energized Christ. I chose the word energized, because God is love and His love sent Jesus to Earth. But the word love is too weak, in our culture, to describe the power that propelled Jesus to die for mankind’s sin. Passion would only begin to describe the depth of God’s love. Paul caught a glimpse of the importance of understanding the scope of that love in Ephesians 3:17; “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;”
Passion is a powerful and compelling emotion. It is also used as a noun to describe “the sufferings of Christ on the cross or His suffering subsequent to the Last Supper.” Without minimizing His suffering, I believe Christ’s passion far exceeds His suffering. His love for us was and continues to be passionate. His love is active, full of compassion and forgiveness. His love is not generic, but focused to kiss the heart of the individual. His love is visionary and insightful, seeing past your actions and inconsistencies to your need. His passion purchased and presented what no one else could ever propose--redemption; full and free. His passion painted redemption on the canvas of time with bold strokes of forgiveness, grace and acceptance. His passion transcends time without losing its potency. Its latent power is released in the heart of anyone that will receive Him.
His love is the potting soil that we must plant our lives in to flourish. It transforms the recipient, releasing our talents and kindness. It causes us to bloom. It causes His fragrance and beauty of love to be released to bless others. As we receive His passionate love, we can love others. We can forgive. We can sacrifice, because we understand that every time a rose is plucked off, more roses grow in its place. We understand that His overflow of love to us and through us is abundant and lavish, like His grace. We can love because we are loved, not with a generic, conditional love, but with a passionate, self-sacrificing love. Planted in His love, nourished by His love we can give His love.