by Judi Chow
I have never been to a movie on its opening day. As a matter of fact, I’ve only been to the theatre twice in the last three years. Why? I never had the urge or the cause to do so… until I heard about “The Passion of The Christ” on and off since its production stage and the only thing that caught my attention was Mel Gibson chose to use the Biblical language and possibly using no subtitles! Then my friend who went to the preview told me how seeing the Passion has helped her put the hardship and suffering she is facing into perspective. It’s almost like a spiritual revival, now with that kind of impact, I got to see this life-changing movie on its opening day.
The movie was a little over two hours long portraying the last twelve hours of Jesus on earth, His struggle, His suffering, and His triumph in carrying out the mission of His Father. This is an old-old story with which most people are familiar. There is no surprise to the theme, no anticipation to the plot, and no shock to the ending yet it gripped my attention every single minute. This movie has brought the familiar facts I read on pages into real life that evoked all my senses. My stomach was turned and twisted during the flogging of Jesus. I was keenly aware of Satan’s presence throughout. I was annoyed by the high priest’s hard-heartedness. I was appalled by the soldiers’ enjoyment in torturing Jesus. I cried when they nailed Him to the cross. Most of all, I sympathized with Peter’s denial of Jesus. Given the circumstance, the pressure, the fear, I might have done the same.
Godly men denied Christ in China during the Cultural Revolution. It was a moment of weakness resulting from the physical and emotional torture by officials as well as those close to them, who might be their students or members of the church they pastored over. Those were difficult times, yet the Lord used it to refine His flock and to separate the sheep from the goats. There is a Chinese saying: sweetness came at the end of bitterness. The church in China has grown many folds from the persecution it endured in the sixties. Peter repented of his weaknesses, came back to Jesus, carried out His mission to build the church by feeding His sheep. Because of this, I can join God’s family.
Each one of us has a mission in life. Jesus knew His mission and lived it out with passion. Peter also knew his mission and carried it out with passion. My mission is to be a paraklesis to missionaries. Para… what? Yes, that’s Greek meaning “come alongside as helper.” That’s my mission and I strive to do it with passion and at times endure suffering for it. Yes, there might be pain and suffering, discouragement and disappointment, heartaches and headaches, but at the end I know we have triumph and victory because of Christ. What better reward than to hear from the Father, “Well done, my faithful child!”
What is your mission in life? Are you living it out with passion?