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Page 79

To especially remember Christ's death, the church celebrates "Good Friday" each year. During the six Sundays prior to Good Friday and Easter, "passion" sermons are preached or read in church.

The word "Passion" has the following two meanings:

1. With compelling, intense feeling or emotion
2. To bear deep sufferings

This double meaning applies to the passion weeks observed on the church calendar. During these weeks we are to observe the intense emotion and deep sufferings of Jesus Christ during the last weeks of His life on earth and in the events surrounding His death.

The observance of His passion should also stir our "passions." Intense feelings of love, gratitude, and amazement should fill our hearts when meditating upon the depth of His suffering and death for unworthy sinners. Is this true in your heart? At one time it may be more lively than at another, but do you know something and desire more of these heartfelt "passions"?

    An eighty-seven-year-old child of God was dying and his minister visited him at his bedside.

    "Reverend, it is so dark. I cannot even remember one promise the Lord has given me in my life. What do I do?" the old man cried.

    The minister listened and prayed for wisdom. Suddenly the answer came to him. "Oh John," he replied, "You may forget - but do you believe that your Savior will forget? Do you think that He who gave His life and has gone through death before you, will forget you now in your hour of great need?"

    This touched the old man's heart. He sobbed, "No, Reverend - I cannot believe that He will forget!"

    What rich comfort can the death of Christ be for His children when they face their death?

If Christ suffered and died so grievously, why is the remembrance of this event called "Good Friday"?

How do worldly passions differ from biblical passions?

What depths of love and rich comforts are missed by those who do not personally know Jesus Christ's substitutionary sufferings and death?

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